Vulnerability and Acceptance: lesbian Women's Family-Making through Assisted Reproduction in Swedish Public Health Care
2015 (English)In: Journal of GLBT Family Studies, ISSN 1550-428X, E-ISSN 1550-4298, Vol. 11, no 2, 127-150 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Female same-sex couples in Sweden have had access to fertility treatment within public health care since 2005. Treatment is generally tax funded, with a minimal of personal expenses. After birth, both mothers gain legal status as the child's parents. This article draws on findings from interviews with 29 lesbian mothers, all of whom have sought treatment at fertility clinics within the Swedish public health care system. Parts of the interviews in which the mothers describe deficiencies in the provided treatment have been scrutinized in detail. Results show how heteronormative assumptions about the family and a feeling of exposure in the role of patient give rise to vulnerability in lesbian mothers. Furthermore, neither routines nor the offered treatment are adapted to lesbian women's specific needs. Regarding dealing with deficiencies, the interviews are filled with expressions of acceptance, which rhetorically minimize the impact of potential stressors. A main conclusion is that legal inclusion of lesbians in fertility treatment is of groundbreaking importance to lesbians with a desire to become parents. The next step is to address heteronormativity within the health care institutions in order to develop treatment adapted to lesbian couples’ specific needs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2015. Vol. 11, no 2, 127-150 p.
lesbian mother, assisted reproduction, fertility treatment, public health care, heteronormativity
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116960DOI: 10.1080/1550428X.2014.891088OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-116960DiVA: diva2:809599