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Diverse Pathways to Parenthood - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128160237, 9780128162903

Diverse Pathways to Parenthood

1st Edition

From Narratives to Practice

Author: Damien Riggs
eBook ISBN: 9780128162903
Paperback ISBN: 9780128160237
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 12th September 2019
Page Count: 194
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Diverse Pathways to Parenthood: From Narratives to Practice is a timely contribution to the study of reproduction and parenthood. Drawing on a wide breadth of projects, this book covers topics such as first time parents, donor conception, pregnancy loss, surrogacy, lesbian, gay and/or transgender parenting, fostering and adoption, grandparenting, and human/animal kinship. By presenting individual narratives focused on reproduction and parenthood, this book successfully translates empirical research into practical, applied outcomes that will be of use for all those working in the fields of reproduction and parenthood. Including recommendations for fertility specialists, educators, child protection agencies, reproductive counselors, and policy makers, Diverse Pathways to Parenthood: From Narratives to Practice is a vital new resource that will help guide practice into the future. As a contribution to the field of critical kinship studies, this book heralds new directions for the study of kinship, by revisiting as well as reimagining how we think about, research, and respond to a diversity of kinship forms.

Key Features

  • Includes over 70 narratives representative of hundreds of interviews collected as a part of 15 research projects undertaken over the past decade
  • Supported by a companion website that provides further materials and information:
  • Translates critical kinship studies theory into applied tools for practice in the fields of reproduction and parenthood


Researchers in psychology, sociology, family studies, and other social sciences; mental health practitioners working with parents/expectant parents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Reproducing our selves through stories

Section I: Imaginations
2. Planning for a possible future: Transgender people and fertility preservation
3. Dreams of motherhood: Women in heterosexual couples planning for a first child
4. Animal companions as kin: The significance of animals to women of diverse sexualities

Section II: Interruptions
5. Assisting reproduction: Heterosexual women’s experiences with infertility and fertility-related challenges
6. A profound grief: Heterosexual women’s experiences of pregnancy loss
7. Disenfranchised grief: Foster parent experiences of an unplanned placement termination

Section III: Conceptions
8. Donor conception: Creating new possibilities?
9. Baby desired, travel required: Negotiating international commercial surrogacy arrangements
10. Conception narratives: Journeys to family for adoptive and foster parents

Section IV: Reproductions
11. Wearing the pants?: Men’s accounts of becoming fathers
12. An act of resistance: Lesbian women becoming parents
13. Generations: Parent views on becoming grandparents
14. Conclusion: From stories to practice


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2019
12th September 2019
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Damien Riggs

Damien W. Riggs is a professor in psychology at Flinders University and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. He is the author of over 200 publications in the areas of gender, family, and mental health, including Working with transgender young people and their families: A critical developmental approach (Palgrave, 2019). He is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and a psychotherapist who specialises in working with transgender and non-binary young people.

Affiliations and Expertise

Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia


"With its focus in diverse and complex  stories of pathways not only to parenthood but to production and kinship, this book reflects qualitative research in critical kinship studies at its finest. Drawing on decades of collaborative research in the new book and in a highly pedagogical fashion, Damien Riggs explores and explains urgent and timely topics for practitioners in reproductive and family care by pointing to both conventions and resistances in time of ”new” family forms and increasing use of ARTs. Equally importantly, by reading across several topics not usually analyzed together (such as infertility and reproductive loss, kinship with animals and across generations, straight and queer parenting), Riggs provides strong arguments for why attention not only to norms and deviances, but gender,  sexuality and culture remain at the core of kinship and thus of critical kinship studies." -- Ulrika Dahl, Professor of Gender Studies, Uppsala University

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