From Publishers Weekly
More than 15 years into the lesbian baby boom, Aizley's collection of first-person accounts by nonbiological lesbian mothers is a long time coming. Nonlegalistic and (mostly) nonharrowing, these tales are only tangentially about powers of attorney, two-parent adoption, and custody battles, instead illumining what it is to be mom and not-mom at the same time. Some pieces explore the feelings of envy and loss of would-be but infertile mothers learning to accept their easily pregnant partners. Others examine the "lesbian daddy" role, as in Polly Pagenhart's exceptional "Confessions of a Lesbian Dad"; and the lesbian stepmom role, like CNN reporter Mary Cardaras's "Family of the Heart." The most moving essay, "And You Are?" by Hillary Goodridge, describes the peril of being the other mother who is a legal and familial cipher, unrecognizable as "real" family to either partner or child in the eyes of anyone but them. These essays explain what it is to be biologically estranged from your spouse and child(ren) and the daily struggle for approval and acceptance that these women face in society and sometimes even in their own homes and hearts. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
What of the "other" mother, the one who provides loving maternal care and some or all material support but hasn't gestated or given birth to the child? The contributors to this book of answers to that question don't shy away from "other" moms' jealousy for the "flesh-on-flesh, boundaryless nurturing" of the breastfeeding bond; the ambivalence of being 40-plus and hitherto "too busy healing my inner child to have my own kids"; or such wrenching experiences as a disharmonious split with a mentally ill partner who wouldn't allow visiting privileges, let alone partial custody ("even when it became clear my ex could no longer parent[,] . . . I didn't have a chance because I was a biological stranger in the eyes of the court"). Editor and biological mom Aizley's representative selection of the voices of those who, to the usual maternal trials and tribulations, add the difficult, revolutionary task of creating and defining unusual roles within and outside of their homes constitutes a valuable addition to the gay studies and women's issues shelves. Whitney ScottCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved