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Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families Paperback – 18 Aug 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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  • Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families
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Product details

  • Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Guilford Press; New Ed edition (18 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593851332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593851330
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.2 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'This is the book for anyone who used or is thinking of using any kind of assisted reproduction to help create a family. So many of us are afraid to talk openly about - or just don't know how to talk about - the ways our families were created. This book will help you deal with your own anxieties and confusions and then be able to talk about them in a more comfortable way... I am overjoyed that a book like this is finally available.' - Jane Mattes, CSW, psychotherapist and founder of Single Mothers by Choice

'Dr. Ehrensaft tackles your medical questions, your psychological questions, and your parenting questions, all in one readable, authoritative volume.' - Susan H. McDaniel, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

About the Author

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, is a professor of psychology at The Wright Institute, Berkeley. She is a noted developmental and clinical psychologist who has spent the last two decades working with parents and children who have come together as a family as a result of assisted reproductive technology. She is the author of Spoiling Childhood, also from Guilford.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative book. Have recommended it to others.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9399c2a0) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f0f5ce4) out of 5 stars Highly recommended 2 Sept. 2006
By Mikki Morrissette - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure what the ambivalence, and negative reaction, of the previous reviewers was based on. Or what the more recent reviewer was actually looking for that didn't get resolved. I find this a very insightful book that presses parents and others to investigate the emotional issues they're likely to encounter over time as the parent of a donor-conceived child. Especially the very real emotional issues of a couple in which one might consider the other more "his" or "hers" based on biological ties; cultural beliefs that many of us grow up with that need to be addressed with donor-assisted conception. Certainly to think that these issues won't come up, or are better left undiscussed, does a disservice to the child and the couple (or single parent, which is discussed as well).

I agree that it's a wide-ranging book, which might seem a bit daunting at times, particularly for those looking for practical solutions rather than discussion. But since most clinics don't discuss many of these mental health concerns with clients, I think this is a highly valuable book that prospective parents can read in the privacy of their bedroom as they contemplate and consider the choices ahead.

As author of "Choosing Single Motherhood," I know many women make conscious choices about becoming a parent. I think the kind of issues raised in Ehrensaft's book are honest, real and important for anyone to keep in mind when pursuing parenthood in non-traditional ways.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f0f5d38) out of 5 stars Soothing, loving 22 July 2007
By Marisa - Published on
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I'm reading it slowly to not miss a word. Of the DE books I read this is the first one I feel is non-judgemental, and so very reasonable.
I got it from the library (cautious by the reviews I read here) and am going to buy it just to keep it.
Reading this book is easing a lot of the stress I'm going through on this path. Once issues are named and identified they lose their ability to subliminally torment you. The book is respectful enough to leave it to the reader to look at things her/his own way, after helping in laying out the issues.
This book is written by a psychoanalyst and will be most enjoyed by people familiar with psychoanalysis.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e2c418c) out of 5 stars don't understand the criticism! 30 April 2010
By lauren - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm really confused by the previous reviewer who felt the author of this book is cruel to those of us who are dealing with infertility! This could not be more untrue!

I recommend this book very strongly. It is the one of the few books on the topic that talks about the full panoply of emotional issues faced by everyone involved in 3rd party assisted reproduction.

This is not a handbook to pursuing gamete donation or surrogacy. The book Having Your Baby Via Egg Donation covers that ground. This it is an in-depth discussion of an extremely complicated topic, written by a psychologist with extensive experience in this area.

I think this book is especially valuable for those of us who already have donor-gamete conceived children and are looking for guidance in the ongoing task of talking to our children out it.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e2c4558) out of 5 stars disappointed by the negativity 25 Sept. 2012
By MsFrenchbo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Upon recommendation from our social worker I purchased this book along with "Helping the Stork: The Choices and Challenges of Donor Insemination by Carol Frost" and "Experiences of Donor Conception: Parents, Offspring and Donors through the Years by Caroline Lorbach". Each book came with its own set of biases, but this book unfortunately has the bias of being against the use of DI.
Reading this book reminded me of reading the warning insert in a medication package - yes, they are all possible side effects, but if everyone feared each item then we'd take no meds and have no DI babies. An example of this is the authors asserting that if one uses a known donor than that female will likely have sexual feelings towards the donor, she likened this to the Oedipus complex. I never experienced an Oedipus complex, nor do I think I will be subjected to the many other deleterious emotional assuages that the author claims will likely occur.
I hope this book doesn't make people feel bad about themselves or the lives they are planning.
I recommend: Experiences of Donor Conception for those who plan to tell their children that they were conceived through DI, and leaned more towards unknown donors. Helping the Stork was perhaps the fairest book in my mind, though they did seem to favor known donor and telling children about how they were conceived.
If you feel like you have to buy this book, at least buy one or two others - so that you don't get too despondent.
HASH(0x8e2c4504) out of 5 stars Reassuring, Helpful 3 Nov. 2015
By Margaret - Published on
Format: Paperback
I could not disagree more with any who felt that this book was negative about the use of non-traditional means of building a family. I found it to be an inspiring and practical guidebook that reflected a deep understanding of the very complex issues involved.

The author has a great deal of compassion and expert knowledge of human nature, particularly regarding the very human tendency to feel uncomfortable about doing something which is not the norm. She writes clearly and specifically, and answers every imaginable question that the reader might have about using donor egg, donor sperm, donor embryos, or the like. I found the parts regarding how to explain things to the children especially helpful.

It's one of the best books on the topic and I recommend it very highly.
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