The best books and podcasts for gay parents

For the last year or so, my partner and I have been scouring the internet to find everything we can about gay parenting, and I’m not going to lie – it’s not exactly that simple. It can be extremely frustrating to dig so much to find basic information and stories about families like ours, only to find that comparatively there is still so little.

Yes, it goes without saying that we are more than lucky to live in a time when incredible resources are available to gay parents and those looking to explore building a family, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Having to sift through the various technicalities can be demoralizing and exhausting, especially when juxtaposed with the ease with which so many of my straight friends seem to get pregnant. Sometimes it can be hard not to feel embittered. There is so much more to consider and the different processes can be overwhelming.

Parenthood is not for the faint of heart, especially with the compounded difficulties that have arisen during the pandemic. Having a support system is of the utmost importance in general, but it’s especially vital for gay parents, as there are a myriad of unique issues that can arise when building a family. Whether you’re just starting to think about family planning or are in the thick of parenting, there are resources like podcasts, books, and more available to help LBGTQ+ families feel supported.

Jesse Kahn, a psychotherapist, sex therapist and director of the Gender and Sexuality Therapy Center in New York City, talked to us about some of the challenges gay couples can face on their parenting journeys. “Something as simple as having all parents’ names on the birth certificate – which is often a no-brainer for straight parents – is not necessarily guaranteed for gay parents,” they said.

Kahn noted other potential issues, including lack of access to health care and paid parental leave policies that often exclude LGBTQ+ parents. Often, insurance companies use exclusionary language that does not consider same-sex couples. As a result, queer people often don’t have the same options for fertility coverage as heterosexual couples.

As if that weren’t enough, it can be harder for gay parents to find social support and safe spaces, including parenting and childbirth classes. It is therefore of vital importance that queer people share their knowledge. Kahn, who uses the pronouns them/them, told HuffPost that “a great way for gay parents to support each other is to share their experiences as well as recommendations and resources for LGBTQ+ affirmation providers and organizations as well. informed”.

The books and podcasts I’ve turned to for help all speak with breathtaking honesty about the queer parenting journey — the legalities and necessary processes, the heartbreak, and most importantly, the joy. Keep reading for my list of the ultimate gay parenting books and podcasts, and be sure to bookmark them so you’re ready to go when it’s your turn.

HuffPost may receive a share of purchases made through links on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Books

A resource for non-biological lesbian moms

“Confessions from the Other Mother” is filled with the personal stories of women as they step into new parenting roles. It lifts the curtain on what has long been an unexamined perspective of lesbian parenting. It’s funny, moving and, fortunately, festive.

Get it on Amazon for $18.

A funny memory

Actor, writer and producer Dan Bucatinsky details with hilarious and gripping honesty his thirst for parenthood and the path he took to become one.

Get it on Amazon for $16.99.

A collection of LGBTQ+ couple stories

“Journey To Same-Sex Parenthood” is a must-have for gay parents. It explores adoption, foster care, assisted reproduction, surrogacy and co-parenting through the LGBTQ+ lens. Each option is described at length, enriched with personal stories of same-sex couples and queer individuals. It also addresses important legal issues to consider, making it a vital comprehensive resource.

Get it on Amazon for $50.01.

An accessible, research-based book on same-sex families

“Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children” is a comprehensive overview of research on same-sex parenting. It distills various in-depth studies, making them easy to understand, while offering practical recommendations in each chapter.

Get it on Amazon starting at $12.43.

A collection of essays by children from LGBTQ+ families

“Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents” is a curated anthology that collects the stories of people – from baby boomers to Gen Z – who were raised by gay parents. It’s frank, visceral and full of love.

Get it on Amazon for $13.25.

A collection of essays on queer parenting

Various contributors point to the many meaningful ways LGBTQ+ people choose to parent and raise children. Ruth Cameron, a black lesbian mother, wrote this about “Who’s Your Daddy?” in The Feminist Review: “I assumed that a resource like this wouldn’t yet exist. Searching around, I discovered a literary roadmap on queer parenting and family that is current, diverse, and mini -encyclopedic in its breadth. Reading this book made me feel like I had added to my family of choice.”

Get it on Amazon for $42.78.

An indispensable resource for single lesbians and couples

“The Ultimate Lesbian Guide to Pregnancy” has everything you need on topics ranging from choosing a sperm donor and fertility tracking to the fine print in legal documents. It has an extensive resources section and a wonderful overview of preconception planning for single lesbians and couples.

Get it on Amazon for $16.53.

An important resource on adoption

“Adoption Nation” is important reading for anyone wanting to go down the foster and adoption route. It explores the history and impact of adoption, challenges myths and tells individual stories. It highlights issues relating to race, identity, equality, discrimination and more.

Get it on Amazon for $5.02.

An exploration of what makes a parent

“And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families” delves into the role of the “known donor” and what that means in queer family structure. It’s a nuanced and thought-provoking look at new roles, rules, and how to start a family and bond for life.

Get it on Amazon for $15.95.

An Insightful Perspective on Gay Families

“Families Like Mine” is a hands-on, personal account detailing both the author’s stories and those of others. Abigail Garner interviewed over 50 adult children of gay parents, providing valuable insight into their experiences.

Get it on Amazon for $13.69.

A collection of images and personal stories

“Love Makes A Family” shares the experiences of LGBTQ+ parents and their children. Alongside beautiful portraits, family members tell the story of their lives, relationships and challenges. It includes a wide range of racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds to shed light on the many ways one can build a great family.

Get it on Amazon for $21.27.

Podcasts

If these ovaries could talk – Lesbian hosts Jamie and Robin discuss the process of family building and non-traditional families with humor and candor to normalize and celebrate the queer parenting experience.

Square Dad: The Gay Dad Podcast — Yan and Alex, a married couple with twins, discuss parenthood, relationships and more. Each week, they speak to guests and address issues related to parenting in general and same-sex parenting in particular.

The gayest birth show – Hosts Kate and Karyne take us on their journey through reciprocal IVF using Karyne’s eggs, donor sperm and Kate’s uterus.

The shortest longest time — While technically not gay-specific, this podcast is about all kinds of parenting and family stories. There is a series specifically for gay parents and another on single women who buy sperm (and much more) that I found interesting.

Outspoken Voices: a podcast for LGBTQ+ stories — This podcast was created by Family Equality and features new episodes every month with guests who cover topics important to gay families and members of the LGBTQ+ community who are considering starting a family.

Rose and Rosie: parental supervision – Comedy duo and married couple Rose and Rosie take listeners on their journey to becoming parents while talking to friends and peers who have already been through the experience. Often it’s very light-hearted, and during my darker moments I’ll admit I found it flippant. But their candor in the face of the difficulties encountered and a captivating interview with a sperm donor finally won me over.

Some families – Hosts Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley are dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ families through funny and touching stories of diverse families. They explore all avenues to queer parenthood, including adoption, IUI and IVF donor insemination, surrogacy, and co-parenting. As if that weren’t enough, they also dive into topics like gender transitioning as a parent, growing up with gay parents, fostering, raising children with disabilities, and the ups and downs of parenthood in general. It is a truly wonderful resource.

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