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Perspectives from lesbian women: their experiences with healthcare professionals when transitioning to planned parenthood

Lesbian women experience challenges within the healthcare arena related to their sexual orientation and its acceptability within society. But what happens when lesbians have children together? How do healthcare professionals respond to this difference? And what is the impact of this on lesbian couple relationships? This study explored the perspectives of lesbian women transitioning to planned parenthood in relation to their experiences with healthcare professionals in a heteronormative healthcare system. Eight women in three New Zealand cities were interviewed as part of a wider study of lesbian women’s experiences of planned parenthood and the impact of the transition to parenthood on couple relationships. Qualitative data were analysed using a general inductive approach. Queer theory was used as a theoretical framework to interpret the findings. The participants’ experiences of healthcare professionals’ responses ranged from positive andaffirming to insulting and homophobic. Recommendations are made in relation to educating healthcare professionals about the validity of the lesbian-led family and increasing their awareness when dealing with this unique family structure.

Author(s): Kristal R O’Neill, Helen P Hamer, Robyn Dixon

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  • ProQuest
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