Recommended Reading

Getting Started

Taking charge of Your Fertility: The definitive guide to Natural birth control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health. Weschler, Toni.  William Morrow, 2015. This accessible, guide to understanding your body and fertility signs gets our highest recommendation.

The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth. Brill, Stephanie. Alyson Publications, 2006. A thorough, practical guide to the physical and emotional stages of pre-conception, pregnancy, and delivery.

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Preconception Through Birth. Pepper, Rachel. Cleis Press, 2005. A humorous and insightful guide written by a lesbian mother who herself used donor sperm to conceive.

Making Babies the Hard Way: Living with Infertility and Treatment.  Gallup, Caroline. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007. Caroline and Bruce discover that Bruce does not appear to produce sperm. Written with candor, humor and an eye for detail.

Experiences of Donor Conception: Parents, Offspring, and Donors through the Years. Lorbach, Caroline. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003. Lorbach takes the reader through the decision to use donor conception, choosing a donor, and discussing with others. Includes the experiences of married heterosexual, single, and lesbian parents and sperm donors.

Building a Family with the Assistance of Donor Insemination. Daniels, Ken. Dunmore Press, 2004. For those heterosexual couples considering or who have built their families through donor conception. Discusses "when and how" to share this information with children.

Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman's Guide.  Morrissette, Mikki. Be-Mondo Publishing, 2005. A comprehensive resource book for women who have chosen, or are thinking of choosing, single motherhood. Morrissette is founder of Choice Moms.

Single Mothers by Choice: A guidebook for Single Women who are considering or have chosen Motherhood. Mattes, Jane. Random House, 2013. Comprehensive guide.

Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women are Choosing Parenthood without Marriage and Creating the New American Family. Hertz, Rosanna. Oxford University Press, 2006. Interviews with 65 mothers, straight and lesbian who speak candidly about managing their lives as single mothers.

LGBTQ Resources

A Donor Insemination Guide: Written By and For Lesbian Women. Mohler, Marie and Frazer, Lacy. Harrington Park Press, 2002. Partners, parents, and children conceived through donor insemination share their experiences and offer detailed advice.

Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell All. Aizely, Harlyn. Beacon Press, 2006. 

She Looks Just Like You: A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood. Miller, Amie. Beacon Press, 2011. 

COLAGE's Donor Insemination Guide. Degroot, Jeffery. Available from COLAGE, 2010. Offers testimonials and advice to answer the questions and address the concerns of current and future generations of donor-conceived children, youth and adults.

COLAGE's Kids of Trans Resource Guide. Canfield-Lenfest, Monica. Available from COLAGE, 2015. This guide is the first of its kind, a resource specifically created for and by people with transgender parents.

Legal

Do Your Own California Adoption: Nolo’s Guide for Stepparents and Domestic Partners. Doskow, Emily and Frank Zagone. Nolo Press, 2003. Contains information and forms to help you complete a stepparent or domestic partner adoption in California.

Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples. Clifford, Denis, Hertz, Frederick and Emily Doskow. Nolo Press, 2007. Helps LGBT couples take charge of their legal needs and take the necessary steps to define and protect their relationships. Addresses same-sex marriage and marriage-like relationships, property ownership, health care directives, estate planning, and parentage questions. With CD containing useful forms.

Pregnancy and Parenting

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: How to Stay Sane and Care for Yourself from Preconception Through Birth. Pepper, Rachel. Cleis Press, 2005. A humorous and insightful guide written by a lesbian mother who herself used donor sperm to conceive.

The Queer Parent’s Primer: A Lesbian and Gay Families’ Guide to Navigating the Straight World. Brill, Stephanie. New Harbinger Publications, 2001. Practical suggestions for dealing with the challenges of defining, protecting, and celebrating queer families

The Lesbian Parenting Handbook: A guide to Creating Families and Raising Children. Clunis, D Merilee.  HarperCollins, 2003.  Chapter-by-chapter information on each stage of parenthood and child development. An affirming guide for lesbian families.

Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is. Garner, Abigail. Harper Collins, 2005. Interviews with more than fifty adult sons and daughters of LGBT parents. Addresses such topics as coming out to children, facing homophobia at school, co-parenting with ex-partners, and the children’s own sexuality.

Lesbian and Gay Voices: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Literature for Children and Young Adults. Day, Frances Ann. Greenwood Press, 2000.

Helping the Stork: The Choices and Challenges of Donor Insemination. Vercollone, Carol Frost, Moss, Heidi, and Moss, Robert. Macmillan, 1997. A practical guide to the issues of DI for heterosexual couples struggling with male infertility.

Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families. Ehrensaft, Diane. Guilford Press, 2005. A down-to-earth manual addressing the issues raised by assisted reproduction, written by a therapist with twenty years experience in the field.

Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men. Drexler, Peggy with Linden Gross. Rodale Press, 2006. Based on interviews with single mothers, lesbian mothers, and their sons, Drexler offers up anecdotes and tips that are useful and validating to any mother trying to raise a strong and compassionate man.

Lesbian and Gay Parents: Research on the Family Life Cycle. Goldberg, Abbie E. APA Books, 2010. An up-to-date summary of research on same-sex parents and their children.

Books for Children   (Books for children of donors below)

LGBTQ two-parent families 

    Mommy, Mama and Me. Newman L. Tricycle Press, 2009. (Boardbook for toddlers)

Oh The Things Mommies Do! What Could Be Better Than Having Two? Tompkins, Crystal with Evans, Lindsey. Creative Space Publishing, 2009. A playful celebration of lesbian mothers. (Ages 4 and up)

Emma and Meesha My Boy: a Two Mom Story. Considine, Kaitlyn. Twomombooks.com, 2005. Two moms teach their daughter to be nice to her cat. (Ages 3-6)

Heather Has Two Mommies. Newman, Leslea. Candlewick Press, 2015. The important thing about a family is that all the people love each other. Updated version of a classic. (Ages 4 and up)

Asha’s Mums. Elwin, Rosamund and Paulse, Michele. Women’s Press, Ontario, Canada, 1990. Thoughtful story showing how a young girl and her two moms deal positively with homophobia at school. Characters of all different ethnic backgrounds. (Ages 6 and up)

Zack’s Story: Growing Up With Same-Sex Parents. Greenberg, Keith. Lerner Publications, 1996. Eleven-year-old Zack describes life with his two moms in this photo-essay for pre-teens.

The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans. Valentine, Johnny. Alyson Publications, 2004. A collection of five original fairy tales with a cast of gay and lesbian characters embedded within the tales. (Ages 4-8)

King and King. de Haan, Linda. Tricycle Press, 2002. When the queen decrees that it’s time for the prince to marry, princesses come from far and wide hoping to catch his eye, but it’s one of the princesses’ brothers who wins his heart. And they live happily ever after! (Ages 3-6)

Single parents

Nan’s Donut Dilemma. Ryan, Mary E. Keen Editions, 2011. is a lovely book in which a mother explains to her child that she got help from a man and a doctor to have a baby and then moves to how Nan deals with Father's Day at school.

The Pea That Was Me: A Single Mom's/Sperm Donation Children's Story.  Kluger-Bell, Kim. CreateSpace Publishing, 2013. Emphasizes how much the child was wanted, and how grateful mommy is to the "very kind donor" who helped make it all possible. (Ages 3 and up)

One, Two, Family; Keidar, Michal. CreateSpace Publishing, 2015. It tells the story of one family comprising of a mother, a girl and a boy. Written by a single choice mother. (Toddlers and children)

Little Treasure: Natalie sets off on a journey, and with the help of a few nice people, brings a smiley baby into the world, with the help of a donor.  Georgy, A. CreateSpace publishing, 2011. Written by a single choice mom.  

Heterosexual two parent families 

Hope and Will Have a Baby: The Gift of Sperm Donation. Celcer, Irene. Graphite Press, 2014. The story of how mom and dad met, fell in love, and built a family with  the help of donor sperm. (Ages 3-6)

Let Me Explain: A Story about Donor Insemination. Schnitter, Jane T. Perspectives Press, 1995. This warm book explains donor insemination from the perspective of a young girl with heterosexual parents; she is matter-of-fact about her conception by DI and her close connection to her dad. (Ages 6-10)

My Story. Infertility Research Trust, 1991. A straightforward and gentle guide describing how Mummy and Daddy conceived their child through donor insemination. Available as a download from the UK Donor Conception Network. (Ages 4-7)

The Story of Our Family. Green, Lisa and Thorn, Petra. Famart, 2013. This book supports parents in explaining conception via sperm donation and their family formation to their children. (Ages 3 - 6)

Books for Children of Donors

My Story, My Gift (unknown recipients). For children of sperm donors. UK Donor Conception Network, 2019. Explains in simple words and pictures how Daddy became a sperm donor because he wanted to do something important to help other people have children. Available from: www.dcnetwork.org/catalog/books-donors (Ages 5-10)

My Story, My Gift. For children of known sperm donors. UK Donor Conception Network, 2019. Explains in simple words and pictures how Daddy became a donor to people he knew, because he wanted to do something important to help them have their children. Available from: www.dcnetwork.org/catalog/books-donors (Ages 5-10)

My Story, My Gift. For children of unknown egg donors. UK Donor Conception Network, 2019. Explains in simple words and pictures how Mummy became an egg donor because she wanted to do something important to help other people have children. Known donor version also available. Both at: www.dcnetwork.org/catalog/books-donors (Ages 5-10)

My Story, My Gift. For children of unknown embryo donors. UK Donor Conception Network, 2019. Explains in simple words and pictures how Mummy and Daddy shared some of their embryos because they wanted to do something important to help other people have children. Known donor version also available. Both at:  www.dcnetwork.org/catalog/books-donors (Ages 5-10)

Family Diversity

Who's in My Family? All About Our Families (Let's Talk About You and Me). Harris, Robie. Candlewick, 2012. This colorful, large-format picture book looks at families, all kinds of families, and all kinds of diversity. (Ages 3-7)

The Great Big Book of Families. Hoffman, Mary. Dial Press, 2011. Teaches to accept all differences among people. (Preschoolers)

Families, Families, Families. Lang. S. Random House, 2015. Some children live with their father. "Some children have two mothers. /Some children are adopted. /Some have stepsisters and—brothers." (Ages 3-7)

One Family. Shannon G. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2015. A playful, interactive book that shows how a family can be big or small and comprised of people of a range of genders and ethnicities. Good for multiracial families. (Ages 4-8) 

Cookies and Cake & The Families We Make. Egan, Jennifer. Laredo Publishing, 2011. The story is told through rhyme and metaphors using cookies and cakes to help adults explain to children how diverse families, though different, are all wonderful including single parents, multiracial parents, two moms, two dads, one of each, or even an unrelated guardian. (Ages 4 and up)

The Family Book. Parr, Todd. Little Brown, 2010. Introduces children to an array of  families. How families are different and the same. (Preschool and up)

Who's In A Family.  Skutch, Robert. Tricycle Press, 1997. Includes blank spaces to "draw a picture of your family." (Ages 4 - 8)

ABC.  A Family Alphabet Book. Combs, Bobbie, Rappa, Desiree and Rappa Brian. Two Lives Publishing, 2012. Delightful picture books  celebrating alternative families. (Ages 2-5)

Talking about Donor Conception and How Babies are Made

What Makes a Baby. Silverberg, Cory and Smyth, Fiona. Triangle Square, 2013. Completely gender neutral story of how babies are made, works for all family configurations and gender identities.

It Takes Love (and Other Stuff) To Make A Baby. Bird, LL. Catadon Press, 2014. A book for kids in two-mom families born via donor insemination. Using bright illustrations and simple, language, this book explains the basics of reproduction and introduces the concept of the donor. 

Zak’s Safari.  Tyner, Christy and Ciaee. CreativeSpace, 2014. A boy tells the story of how his multi-ethnic family with two moms came to be. Includes a forward with tips on how to talk to children about donor conception written by TSBC's Executive Director, Alice Ruby.(Ages 5 and up)

Our Story. Baxter, Nicola. UK Donor Conception Network, 2002. Are told with kid-like drawings and simple words. The language will refer to parents as mum and dad since they are from England. The books allow you to create your own story. Excellent guides to donor conception for young children, conceived through DI to lesbian parents, through DI to single mothers and through DI for heterosexual couples families. Available from the UK Donor Conception Network. (Ages 3-6)

It’s So Amazing: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families. Harris, Robie. Candlewick, 1999. An upbeat, comprehensive sex education book for kids. (Ages 7-10)

Choosing to be Open about Donor Conception. Pettle, Sharon and Burns, Jan. UK Donor Conception Network, 2002. A parenting guide based on interviews with 52 heterosexual, single, and lesbian parents about their experiences being open about their children’s donor origins.

Telling and Talking about Donor Conception: A Guide for Parents. Montuschi, Olivia. UK Donor Conception Network, 2006. Four booklets to help parents decide whether and how to tell their children about their donor origins. Available from www.dcnetwork.org Each booklet is geared toward a different age group, from birth to adulthood.

Videos and Websites

    Donor Conception Network in the UK.  www.dcnetwork.org

    Infertility Network in Canada.  www.infertilitynetwork.org 

    booksfordonoroffspring.blogspot.com/search/label/sperm donation

    laredopublishing.com/children.php Includes books in Spanish

    www.candlewickpress.com An independent children's publisher

    www.choicemoms.org

The Donor Sibling Registrywww.donorsiblingregistry.com  Supporting donor conceived families. Many discussions by parents about how they handle disclosure.

EGUIDE: “Retrospective: 18 Years as a Choice Momwww.choicemoms.org/retrospective-18-years-choice-mom what I’ve learned from my kids, and  thousands  of single mothers by choice along the way. www.choicemoms.org

Sperm donors anonymous. 57 minute long documentary interviews donor, DC adults and one parent.  Positive and  thoughtful. sensiblefilms.com/portfolio/sperm-donors-anonymous

That’s a Family. Debra Chasnoff, Women’s Educational Media, 2000. A 30-minute video documentary that breaks new ground in helping elementary-school-aged kids see the different shapes that families take today. Available from www.womedia.org (note: Women's Educational Media is now called GroundSpark)

Telling and Talking DVD. 45 minutes film features parents and children in all family types reflecting on their thoughts about "telling."  www.dcnetwork.org

SINGLE MOTHERS BY CHOICE: DVDs of Conference Panels www.singlemothersbychoice.org/shop-estore/

  • DVD of panel with Grown Children of SMCs: What was it like to grow up in an SMC family? A very frank discussion among some of the now-adult children.
  • DVD of panel on Looking for Genetic Roots: All children have questions about their genetic heritage. How do we help our children with their questions?(Donor Sibs: Wendy and Ryan Kramer of the DSR; Adoptive families: Joni Mantell; Research: Rosanna Hertz)
  • DVD of panel with Moms of Grown SMC Children: How they view being an SMC now that their children are adults.
  • And Baby Makes Two. A candid documentary about a group of single women who are pursuing motherhood – without the participation of husbands, lovers or boyfriends.

Telling and Talking about Donor Conception. Evans, Liesel. UK Donor Conception Network, 2006. Documentary of ten families with donor-conception origins. Parents and children answer questions about their experiences of telling/learning about their DI origins and continuing to talk together as the children grow.  It features families headed by single women, a lesbian couple, and seven heterosexual couples.

In My Shoes. The 31-minute award winning documentary in 2005 was youth produced and discusses children of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents. Giving voices and faces to the children talking about the meaning of family and acceptance.  www.colage.org/resources/

A Different Story. Evans, Liesel. UK Donor Conception Network, 2002. A 30-minute video based on interviews with seven people aged between seven and twenty who offer varied positive and thoughtful reflections about their DI origins. All were conceived with the aid of an anonymous donor, and all learned about their conception at an early age. Does not include lesbian or single mother families.

A Letter from Walter to Would-be DI Dads. Merricks, Walter. UK Donor Conception Network, 2003. A letter designed to help men think though difficult issues related to parenting through donor conception. Available free from www.dcnetwork.org

Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority. Extensive resources on assisted family building. Supports the most developed open-identity donation program in the world. www.varta.org.au

  • How we became a family by using a sperm donor.
  • Finding out as a teenager you were donor-conceived.
  • How to talk to your children about being a donor