I found an “oldie but a goodie” on a lesbian friends bookshelf recently. She’d purchased it because when she was newly out, she had two young children (now pre-teens) from a failed straight marriage. She tells me she had struggled to cope with realizing her true sexual orientation and reconciling that with being a parent. The book I found is the 2001 Guilford Press publication For Lesbian Parents: Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud by authors Suzanne M. Johnson, PhD and Elizabeth O’Conner, PhD.
Johnson and O’Conner were a lesbian couple of 10+ years standing when they had their first child (by the time they wrote the book, they had two daughters). Even given their backgrounds in teaching and developmental psychology, they struggled both as first time parents and as lesbian parents in general. They wanted to help other lesbian families by presenting what they learned along the way and what helped them.
In skimming through this now 11 year old book, I see a lot of information that is still highly relevant. The book is not based in the legalities of adoption and other such things that tend to date a publication and render at least parts of it obsolete. It’s entire focus is on relationships inside and outside of the family, on child development and on coping with the intricacies of being a “different” sort of family. This one will be relevant for a long time.
I don’t know for sure if Johnson and O’Conner and their children are still a family. It’s a shame if they’re not as their book has helped many. It’s never been updated. Their girls would be in their teens now. A bit of online searching shows that Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Psychology at Dowling College in Oakdale, NY now. All listings I could find for Dr. O’Conner would seem to place her in Antioch, CA and environs as a practicing Psychologist. It’s a shame if they are no longer together but their book is worth a look no matter what.