1st Edition

Conceiving Contemporary Parenthood Imagining, Achieving and Accounting for Parenthood in New Family Forms

Edited By Zeynep B. Gürtin, Charlotte Faircloth Copyright 2021
    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    With the global expansion of reproductive technologies, there are ever more ways to create a family, and more family types than ever before. This book explores the experiences of those persons - whether single, in a couple, or part of collective co-parenting arrangements; whether hetero- or homosexual; whether cis- or transgender - who are creating what has been termed ‘new family forms’ with reproductive ‘assistance’.

    Drawing on qualitative research from around the world, the book is particularly anchored in two bodies of social science scholarship - sociological and anthropological inquiries into the cultural impact of reproductive technologies on the one hand, and parenting culture studies on the other. It seeks to create fertile conversations between these scholarships, highlighting the intersections in the ways we think about conceiving and caring for children in today’s ‘reproductive landscape’.

    Focusing specifically on persons whose reproductive journeys do not conform to dominant scripts, the book traces the many ways in which intentions, expectations and technological developments contribute to changing and enduring conceptions of good parenthood in the twenty-first century. Taking a holistic perspective, the book presents deep insights into the experiences not only of (intending) parents, but also of donors, surrogates, medical professionals and activists. The collection will be of interest to an international readership of scholars of gender, reproduction, parenting and family life.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Anthropology & Medicine.


    Zeynep B. Gürtin and Charlotte Faircloth

    1. Being a ‘good’ parent: single women reflecting upon ‘selfishness’ and ‘risk’ when pursuing motherhood through sperm donation

    Susanna Graham

    2. The role of normative ideologies of motherhood in intended mothers’ experiences of egg donation in Canada

    Kathleen Hammond

    3. Accounting for the money-made parenthood of transnational surrogacy

    Ingvill Stuvøy

    4. Surrogate non-motherhood: Israeli and US surrogates speak about kinship and parenthood

    Elly Teman and Zsuzsa Berend

    5. Ideals, negotiations and gender roles in gay and lesbian co-parenting arrangements

    Cathy Herbrand

    6. Conceptions of transgender parenthood in fertility care and family planning in Sweden: From reproductive rights to concrete practices

    Jenny Gunnarsson Payne and Theo Erbenius

    7. Commentary

    Marcia C. Inhorn


    Zeynep B. Gürtin is Lecturer at the Institute for Women’s Health at University College London (UCL), UK. She is a sociologist of reproduction and gender and her work brings together changing social trends in fertility with women's own personal accounts of their expectations and experiences, to provide insights about contemporary reproduction and relationships. Her recent research has focused on single women’s fertility options, including egg freezing and solo motherhood; motherhood after 40; and reproductive anxiety and choices.

    Charlotte Faircloth is Associate Professor in the Social Research Institute at University College London (UCL), UK. From sociological and anthropological perspectives, her work has focussed on parenting, gender and reproduction using qualitative and cross-cultural methodologies. This research has explored infant feeding, couple relationships, intergenerational relations and, recently, the impact of coronavirus on family life.