Queer Family Planning

I didn’t always know I would be a lesbian dad. Sure, I always knew I was a lesbian… I managed to become a parent without becoming a mother. It’s actually not as complicated as it sounds.

—Polly Pagenhart “Confessions of Lesbian Dad”

I cannot, however, find the My Two Tranny Dads picture book… I cannot seem to find much about our eventual child’s relationship to our donor’s parents… Also, I seem to have overlooked the bookshelf I need. It will be the one with the giant extended multi-ethnic queer family picture books, in which small persons are taken out to eat all manner of foods and participate in an endless variety of festivals and religions services, with all sorts of people in all kinds of places.

— Bear Bergman “Writing the Landscape”

Expanding Your Identity

  • What are the identities that you claim and foreground as you move through the world?
  • How do you envision adding parent to that list of identities and experiences?
  • Do you imagine that your other identities will fade to the background?
  • How will you hold them all with importance?

Expanding Your Family

People expect parenting to radically alter the rhythms of their lives, often without anticipating that the quest to become parents will also alter their lives. Because of pervasive cultural myths telling us that children only arrive through pregnancy and that getting pregnant happens easily without fertility struggles – people are often shocked to find that their lives are consumed by the minute details of seeking parenthood whether through pregnancy or adoption.

For some people, being overtaken by the journey to become parents is empowering. For others, the quest to not lose one’s self begins at the start of the fertility or adoption process.

Psychotherapy for Exploration and Facilitated Negotiation

Families are changing shape as queer communities explore new models for parenting and family creation.

  • When you imagine your family, how does it look?
  • Do you and your partner, or co-parent(s), have the same vision about how to build a family?
  • Does the family you imagine look like the family you came from, or is it radically different?
  • If you have a partner, will they want it to look like the family they came from?

Parenthood amplifies gender and cultural identities, and highlights the differences in familial histories and expectations between partners. In queer family planning psychotherapy, I can help you integrate the dreams you have of parenthood into the sometimes daunting and overwhelming tasks of seeking parenthood.

I can also help you create space to grieve if your journey toward parenthood becomes frustrating, complicated, or overwhelming as fertility issues or complications in adoption arise.

Sometimes people experience grief over the loss of parenting fantasies as they negotiate with their partner’s fantasies. It can be exciting for partners and co-parents to expand their visions to make room for each other, and it can also bring up sorrow and anxiety as long-held visions are let go.

Who I Work With

In addition to psychotherapy with individuals, I work with couples and co-parents of all genders, helping them to envision their family dreams and make decisions about sperm or egg donors, sperm banks, and fertility plans.

I also work with couples and individuals and their designated sperm or egg donors, helping them to clarify, articulate, and negotiate their visions for family and community.