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"Married, Single, or Gay?" Queerying and Trans-forming the Practices of Assisted Human Reproduction Services

"Married, Single, or Gay?" Queerying and Trans-forming the Practices of Assisted Human Reproduction Services

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Title: "Married, Single, or Gay?" Queerying and Trans-forming the Practices of Assisted Human Reproduction Services
Author: Epstein, Rachel
Abstract: , gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) people in North America have historically been categorized as “disfavoured reproducers” and, through various legal, social, and political means, have been denied the right to parent. The past 30 years, however, have been marked by staggering social, legal, and political change in relation to LGBTQ families and people across the LGBTQ spectrum in Canada are increasingly making use of Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) services as part of their family-building processes.

However, despite significant gains in social and legal recognition for LGBTQ people in Canada, LGBTQ people are often unhappily marginalized when they seek reproductive assistance and are brought under the rubric of a highly medicalized, profit-making system within which their bodies, and families, most often do not fit.

Drawing on 40 qualitative interviews from the CIHR-funded Creating Our Families project, which was designed to explore the experiences of LGBT people with AHR services in Ontario, this dissertation explores the ways that LGBTQ identities and kinship structures are often misrecognized and, in many cases, unintelligible in the fertility clinic context. The assumptions of the heterosexual matrix, in alliance with the culture of the fertility industry, can result in violations or ruptures to the personhood of queer and trans people as they make their way through the clinic. The strategies that people adopt in order to enhance their flow through the clinic can at times contribute to these violations.

The dissertation explores the contours of a more ethical relation between LGBTQ people and fertility clinics, and finally, considers some pedagogical issues related to what is at stake when health care providers are asked to adopt a stance of “not-knowing” that recognizes the radical alterity of the Other.  
Subject: Gender studies
GLBT studies
Adult education
Keywords: Ethics
Assisted human reproduction
Fertility clinics
LGBTQ parenting
Gay parenting
Lesbian parenting
Lesbian
Trans parenting
Trans pregnancy
Semen regulations
Normative families
Queer kinship
Reproductive technologies
Administrative blockages
Sperm donors
Radical alterity
Empathy
Not-knowing
Objectification
Gender labour
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/27697
Supervisor: Dippo, Donald A
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Education
Exam date: 2014-04-22
Publish on: 2014-07-28

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