Author(s): Susan Golombok
Modern Families brings together research on parenting and child development in new family forms including lesbian mother families, gay father families, families headed by single mothers by choice and families created by assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation and surrogacy. This research is examined in the context of the issues and concerns that have been raised regarding these families. The findings not only contest popular myths and assumptions about the social and psychological consequences for children of being raised in new family forms but also challenge well-established theories of child development that are founded upon the supremacy of the traditional family. It is argued that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment are more influential in children's psychological development than are the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents or the method of their conception.
Susan Golombok is Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge and Professorial Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge.
1. Introduction; 2. Lesbian mother families; 3. 'Test-tube' baby families; 4. Donor conception families; 5. Surrogacy families; 6. Solo mother families; 7. Gay father families; 8. Conclusions.