Document Type


Publication Date




Whether single, or in the context of a lesbian relationship, lesbian women are choosing to become mothers, often through adoption. The path of lesbian women choosing motherhood is fraught with challenges and often disappointments (Martin, 1993, Oswald, 2002, Perrin, 2002, Stacey, 1996). In the United States, women are still very much socialized to want to be mothers and the desire to be a mother is not contradicted by sexual orientation (DiLapi, 1989; Dalton & Bielby, 2000). However, lesbian women receive messages that they should not want to be mothers and that they cannot be adequate mothers (DiLapi. 1989; Pies, 1990). Women who self identify as lesbian must negotiate the norms and expectations of a heterocentric and homophobic culture. Thus, for lesbian women, choosing motherhood requires careful consideration and much planning (Dunne, 2000). Thus, one can assume that for lesbian women, the decision making journey, wherever it leads, is challenging and unique. Hearing the voices of lesbian women, as they make the decision to have, or not have, a child is the focus of this work.

Copyright Statement

This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 7[1/2], 2011. Journal of GLBT Family Studies is available online at: DOI: 10.1080/1550428X.2011.537231