We Are Family: The Modern Transformation of Parents and Children (Hardcover)
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From one of the world's leading experts, this absorbing narrative history of the changing structure of modern families shows how children can flourish in any kind of loving home.
The past few decades have seen extraordinary change in the idea of a family. The unit once understood to include two straight parents and their biological children has expanded vastly—same-sex marriage, adoption, IVF, sperm donation, and other forces have enabled new forms to take shape. This has resulted in enormous upheaval and controversy, but as Susan Golombok shows in this compelling and important book, it has also meant the health and happiness of parents and children alike.
Golombok's stories, drawn from decades of research, are compelling and dramatic: family secrets kept for years and then inadvertently revealed; children reunited with their biological parents or half siblings they never knew existed; and painful legal battles to determine who is worthy of parenting their own children. Golombok explores the novel moral questions that changing families create, and ultimately makes a powerful argument that the bond between family members, rather than any biological or cultural factor, is what ensures a safe and happy future.
We Are Family is unique, authoritative, and deeply humane. It makes an important case for all families—old, new, and yet unimagined.
About the Author
Susan Golombok is one of the world's leading experts on new family forms. She is Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, a Professorial Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge, and was a Visiting Professor at Columbia University in New York in 2005-2006 and retains an affiliation there. Golombok has often testified before governments and her research was used as evidence in the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in 2015. She lives in Cambridge, England.
"In this important and compelling book, Professor Susan Golombok gives evidence that the expansion of domestic structures represents not the downfall of family, but the expansion of it to include previously unfathomed, rich possibilities. She explains the new ways people find to reproduce and to be parents, examines how the changes evolved over the last forty years or so, and illuminates the workings of previously undocumented kinds of households. In doing so, she supplies fresh and exquisite narratives of intimacy; this is, at heart, a book about love."—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree
"This inspiring book by Professor Susan Golombok is a rebuff to people who reject diverse families with unfounded claims that they harm children. She tells the personal stories of children brought up by lesbian mothers, gay fathers, single parents, co-parents and trans parents; showing that they are equally well-adjusted, happy and emotionally stable as children from traditional mum and dad families. Golombok refutes fear and prejudice with evidence and facts. Bravo!"—Peter Tatchell
"In We Are Family, Susan Golombok, a world leader in studying and understanding these new types of families, vividly draws on decades of experience to convey their lives and the dilemmas they face. This moving and timely book will surely benefit many people, wonderfully illustrating how these diverse types of parents are creating healthy and loving families/"—Robert Klitzman, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University, and author of Designing Babies