“I’m mot just the nonbiological parent”: Encountering, strategizing, and resisting asymmetry and invalidation in genetic/ gestational parent status among LGBTQ parents
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families have expanded our understanding of who counts as family, to include legal as well as chosen ties. Yet, nonbiological parents in LGBTQ families are vulnerable to invalidation and erasure in social institutions, including health care, legal, and educational settings, where genetic and gestational linkages are privileged. The current study was guided by a queer phenomenological perspective to examine how LGBTQ parents experience and respond to dominant norms related to family relatedness and membership and thus queer the family. This mixed-methods study sampled 250 LGBTQ parents (including cisgender women and trans/nonbinary participants) to examine the question: In what ways does genetic asymmetry matter for families? The qualitative and quantitative analyses yielded three primary findings that revealed experiences of erasure and discrimination, as well as proactive strategies and active resistance used to counteract these difficulties. Themes were organized by (a) encountering marginalization and invalidation: health care, schools, and beyond; (b) strategic actions and discursive practices toward parental equality; and (c) confronting and resisting the need for legal, symbolic, and parenting strategies. This study documents ways in which nonbiological LGBTQ parents, in particular, embrace and resist societal norms for biological connectedness. Implications for nursing professionals include our finding that reproductive and perinatal contexts were particular sites of invalidation, necessitating education about the range of queer, nonbiological, and trans/nonbinary parents so that all parents are included in professional health care encounters.
Journal of Family Nursing
Goldberg, Abbie E. and Allen, Katherine R., "“I’m mot just the nonbiological parent”: Encountering, strategizing, and resisting asymmetry and invalidation in genetic/ gestational parent status among LGBTQ parents" (2022). Psychology. 286.