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Best LGBTQ+ Books: Trying To Conceive (TTC)

Happy Pride! I am more of a Pride-is-everyday and inclusive-is-good-for-everyone kinda guy, but who can resist a post with all the best queer pregnancy books? I've organized this list into Trying to Conceive (TTC), Pregnancy, and Postpartum. This post in the first in the series: TTC! If you are TTC in the Chicago area, please also check out my new support group.

Cover of LGBTQ Family Building: From surrogacy and adoption, to transgender pregnancy and finding child care, parenting as an LGBTQ person is complex. This book is an authoritative, comprehensive, and easy‑to‑read guide to parenthood and family building for LGBTQ people.    The path to becoming a parent is complicated for LGBTQ people. Some LGBTQ people don't consider parenthood because of stereotypes and barriers, while others are interested in parenthood but unsure about the first steps or overwhelmed by the path to take. Still others are discouraged by the attitudes of their family, community, or religion.    This book provides LGBTQ parents and prospective parents with the detailed, evidence‑based knowledge they need to navigate the transition to parenthood, and help their children thrive. Dr. Abbie E. Goldberg, psychologist and researcher, uses the results of her LGBTQ Family Building Project to help challenge traditional beliefs that have often been weaponized against LGBTQ people to prevent or discourage them from becoming parents.   Dr Goldberg walks readers through the various steps and decision points in becoming a parent, describes key research findings on family building, and offers key questions and reader-friendly checklists to easily enable readers to evaluate the LGBTQ friendliness and overall “fit” of adoption agencies, health care providers, day cares, and other institutions.

LGBTQ Family Building by Abbie E. Goldberg

This book is an overview of everything from deciding to become a parent to conception and adoption to parenting in the early years. Each chapter includes a list of resources at the end, and there is even an appendix with all the key historical events in LGBTQ parenting history.

The author conducted the LGBTQ Family Building Project and pulls from her knowledge as a psychologist and scholar. She attempts to simply the process of becoming parents for LGBTQ folks through lists and lots of references.

This book covers a broad area of all things LGBTQ, so it is a good place to start if you are at the very beginning or feeling overwhelmed.

Baby Making For Everybody by Ray Rachlin and Marea Goodman

An instant classic! This one is written by two queer midwives who have lots of experience and it's made specifically for LGBTQ+ and single parents. They include the step by step instructions for building a family as well as stories.

This book is chock full of resources for every stage of family building. They even include an email template for what you might send out while looking for a sperm donor! I also really appreciate that the book landing page includes a whole long list of resources. You really get the sense that Ray and Marea are out to help others build their families because they genuinely care about queer families.

Marea also runs Pregnant Together.

Queer Conception by Liam Kali

When you read this book you can tell that it is written by someone who has years and years of experience. Liam is a trans midwife who has been working with queer families for decades. It goes in depth on preparing your body, fertility tracking, and everything in between.

Included in this book are charts and guides for fertility charting, recommendations for diets and supplements, and info on navigating the complexities of relationships while trying to conceive. I love the charts that show timelines of what to do based on your age.

If you found Taking Charge of Your Fertility and then wished it was gay, this is the book for you.

Knocking Myself Up by Michelle Tea

Sometimes when you are in the thick of it, you need humor. This memoir takes a break from all the charts and supplements and lists. Instead, you can read about one queer person's journey to getting pregnant with infertility.

The author starts trying at 40 and gives a lot of detail about her experience, so this might resonate with older TTC queers.

I haven't read this book myself yet, but I have seen some criticism of the author: especially for her flippant comments about mental health and her overall tone.

I will come back and update once I have read this one!

Reproductive Losses: Challenges to LGBTQ Family-Making by Christa Craven

Sometimes you are trying to family build and it doesn't go the way you hoped. Especially for us queer folks, it can be devastating: emotionally, physically, and financially. This book is written by a queer author who has experienced loss. She discusses experiences with miscarriage, stillbirth, failed adoptions, infertility, and sterility.

The stories in this book are collected from over 50 interviews, and attempts to capture a wide range of experiences from non-gestational parents and adoptive parents to different socio-economic classes. While it is written with providers in mind, it could be a helpful resource if your TTC journey has included loss.

If These Ovaries Could Talk by Jaimie Kelton and Robin Hopkins

Based on interviews collected for the Queer Family Podcast, this is a collection of QTTC tales. The mission of this book is to help queers know they are not alone! They aim to be lighthearted and humorous.

The authors explore common themes in queer family building: how important are genetics? How do you choose a sperm donor? How do you afford the whole process? Who is the real mother?

People like this book because each story connects to the information shared. Many people say this book is filled with helpful information.

Swelling With Pride by Sara Graefe

Creative non-fiction writers celebrate LGBTQ2 families and the ways we embark upon our parenting journeys. These honest, heartfelt, unabashedly queer stories cover a gamut of issues and experiences, including the varied paths to queer conception--from DIY methods at home with the "turkey baster" to pricey medical interventions at the fertility clinic--and the daunting task of choosing a sperm donor.

This groundbreaking anthology also portrays the journeys to LGBTQ2 parenthood that start or end with adoption. There are tales of shared nursing, blended families, communal parenting and non-binary pregnancy. There are also stories of grief, all too often suffered in silence, such as coping with infertility, pregnancy loss, stillbirth and adoption breakdown.

Cheers to gay family making! If you have any books to add to this list, I want to hear from you. And if you're in the Chicago area, don't forget to check out my QTTC group.

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