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When Jenn Berney and her wife decided they wanted to have children, they took the next logical step: they went to a fertility clinic. Intrauterine insemination is a simple medical procedure that has been available since the 1950s, but doctors were baffled by Jenn's situation. With no man factoring into her relationship, she was disparaged by doctors, given an inaccurate di When Jenn Berney and her wife decided they wanted to have children, they took the next logical step: they went to a fertility clinic. Intrauterine insemination is a simple medical procedure that has been available since the 1950s, but doctors were baffled by Jenn's situation. With no man factoring into her relationship, she was disparaged by doctors, given an inaccurate diagnosis, and her medical needs were overlooked. Berney decided to step outside of the system, and, looking into the history of fertility and her own community, she realized queer women have a long history of being disregarded by a patriarchal medical community, and have worked around it to build families on their own terms. In The Other Mothers, Berney reflects on the odds that were stacked against her because of her sexual orientation and envisions a bright future worth fighting for. Writing with clarity, determination, and hope, Berney gives us a wonderful glimpse of what America can be.


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When Jenn Berney and her wife decided they wanted to have children, they took the next logical step: they went to a fertility clinic. Intrauterine insemination is a simple medical procedure that has been available since the 1950s, but doctors were baffled by Jenn's situation. With no man factoring into her relationship, she was disparaged by doctors, given an inaccurate di When Jenn Berney and her wife decided they wanted to have children, they took the next logical step: they went to a fertility clinic. Intrauterine insemination is a simple medical procedure that has been available since the 1950s, but doctors were baffled by Jenn's situation. With no man factoring into her relationship, she was disparaged by doctors, given an inaccurate diagnosis, and her medical needs were overlooked. Berney decided to step outside of the system, and, looking into the history of fertility and her own community, she realized queer women have a long history of being disregarded by a patriarchal medical community, and have worked around it to build families on their own terms. In The Other Mothers, Berney reflects on the odds that were stacked against her because of her sexual orientation and envisions a bright future worth fighting for. Writing with clarity, determination, and hope, Berney gives us a wonderful glimpse of what America can be.

30 review for The Other Mothers

  1. 4 out of 5

    R

    This was such a beautiful, interesting and informative memoir. It was beautiful in the way the author explained her story. She began her story as a young girl sitting in her 5th grade Quaker classroom listening to two guest speakers, both gay, discuss sexuality and realizing she might be different. From then the author described finding the love of her life when she was twenty three and Kellie was about eleven years her senior. After finding her forever love, the author took her reader on a hear This was such a beautiful, interesting and informative memoir. It was beautiful in the way the author explained her story. She began her story as a young girl sitting in her 5th grade Quaker classroom listening to two guest speakers, both gay, discuss sexuality and realizing she might be different. From then the author described finding the love of her life when she was twenty three and Kellie was about eleven years her senior. After finding her forever love, the author took her reader on a heartwarming and heartbreaking journey through the many decisions made in order to have a child with her partner. It was interesting and informative by the way the author explained in detail her two year journey to conceive both from a medical standpoint and on a personal level. Jenny also had to constantly explain there was no husband in the picture and the person who accompanied her was not her mother, but partner. Some of the doctors and staff the author encountered on this journey were not very receptive to her while a very select few actually listened to her worries and took her issues seriously. Aside from these few people, it was also the kindness of acquaintances who later became close friends that helped Jenny and her wife Kellie make their dreams of becoming parents a reality. I loved how the author explained her journey but also included some well researched background history with such topics as sperm banks and its patriarchal history and the legal complications of same sex parents. This was a well written memoir and highly recommended especially for women facing similar situations with or without a partner. An ARC was given for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ethel Rohan

    Jennifer Berney's memoir on the struggles and triumphs of lesbian love, conception, motherhood, and family--and of how devastating the patriarchal models for medicine, fertility, family, and society remain--is a terrific, enraging, and uplifting read. I loved it and am already missing the memorable lives within its pages. Jennifer Berney's memoir on the struggles and triumphs of lesbian love, conception, motherhood, and family--and of how devastating the patriarchal models for medicine, fertility, family, and society remain--is a terrific, enraging, and uplifting read. I loved it and am already missing the memorable lives within its pages.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara Murphy

    What an intimate, compelling, beautiful story of creating a family. This is a well-researched exploration of the history of reproduction, and Berney doesn't shy away from pointing out how often queer families have been overlooked, sidelined, and ignored, often forced to figure out their own innovative, community-oriented ways of building families outside the medical industry. Interspersed with Berney's amazing research and accessible overview of fertility treatments, readers also get to follow a What an intimate, compelling, beautiful story of creating a family. This is a well-researched exploration of the history of reproduction, and Berney doesn't shy away from pointing out how often queer families have been overlooked, sidelined, and ignored, often forced to figure out their own innovative, community-oriented ways of building families outside the medical industry. Interspersed with Berney's amazing research and accessible overview of fertility treatments, readers also get to follow along as Berney and her wife journey together toward parenthood. I was incredibly emotionally involved in this part of the story; Berney's such a vivid, compassionate writer that you truly feel like you're experiencing each challenge, setback, milestone, and triumph right alongside her family. This story is fresh and classic, a perfect exploration of the resilience and love of queer families.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    ⁣ *ARC provided by #netgalley⁣ ⁣ Author Jennifer Berney gives us an honest, tender, and powerful account of her often fraught road to motherhood as a queer woman. Jennifer and her wife Kellie want to start a family, and they soon learn that sadly, much of the medical community isn’t equipped for a queer couple. Jennifer is misdiagnosed, often dismissed, and at one point during a visit to a fertility clinic, Kellie is listed as having “experiencing male infertility”. Treatments such as IVF are no do ⁣ *ARC provided by #netgalley⁣ ⁣ Author Jennifer Berney gives us an honest, tender, and powerful account of her often fraught road to motherhood as a queer woman. Jennifer and her wife Kellie want to start a family, and they soon learn that sadly, much of the medical community isn’t equipped for a queer couple. Jennifer is misdiagnosed, often dismissed, and at one point during a visit to a fertility clinic, Kellie is listed as having “experiencing male infertility”. Treatments such as IVF are no doubt difficult for any couple, but it’s made even harder through what Jennifer and Kellie experience. Jennifer also explores motherhood as a whole, tracing its historical roots and what it really means to be a family, unconventional means of bringing a baby into the world, and how often straight women are favored as a whole in society. ⁣ My heart often broke hearing Jennifer’s story, and my blood would boil too each time a doctor treated her unfairly. I have read many memoirs about motherhood and I loved how unflinchingly honest and tender this one was. It really opened my eyes to a different type of experience. ⁣

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Elle

    Jennifer Berney details her journey to motherhood in this candid memoir. The Other Mothers is beautifully written, and is equally moving as it is informative. Berney, who identifies as queer, interrogates how heteronormativity has shaped the prospects of her having children, as she navigates starting her own alternative family. In this book, she explores the history of alternative families in the queer community and of assisted reproduction technology facilities. Berney is honest - she talks abo Jennifer Berney details her journey to motherhood in this candid memoir. The Other Mothers is beautifully written, and is equally moving as it is informative. Berney, who identifies as queer, interrogates how heteronormativity has shaped the prospects of her having children, as she navigates starting her own alternative family. In this book, she explores the history of alternative families in the queer community and of assisted reproduction technology facilities. Berney is honest - she talks about reproductive issues that we often merely skirt around. Not everybody wants children, not everybody can make children, sometimes it takes time. This book is simultaneously tear-jerking and heart-warming. It evoked joy with the victories and a tiny bit of glum with the disappointments. The pages are filled not only with Berney’s story, but with so many bits of history and knowledge, that it makes a great read for a very wide audience. Intimate, compelling and an overall satisfying read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I had the pleasure of reading The Other Mothers by Jennifer Berney. We follow Jenn and her wife's journey to start a family with all of the challenges and joys experienced along the way. You will get angry reading about the homophobia Jenn experienced, such as cold doctors who didn't give her the time necessary for quality healthcare and having to constantly cross off "husband" on her medical forms. This really showed me how heteronormative practices in the medical field are pervasive and need t I had the pleasure of reading The Other Mothers by Jennifer Berney. We follow Jenn and her wife's journey to start a family with all of the challenges and joys experienced along the way. You will get angry reading about the homophobia Jenn experienced, such as cold doctors who didn't give her the time necessary for quality healthcare and having to constantly cross off "husband" on her medical forms. This really showed me how heteronormative practices in the medical field are pervasive and need to be changed. I also really appreciated the sections that discussed the history around queer women accessing fertility services. Jenn also expresses her emotions throughout the journey in such an honest way that really conveys her experience to the reader. I am so glad this memoir exists and this is the representation that is needed in nonfiction. I highly encourage you to read it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kayo

    So touching to know the kids could see and know their siblings. I absolutely loved this book! Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    There is something warm and endearing yet intelligent about Jennifer Berney's voice. This book feels tender, honest and yet straight-forward. It masterfully weaves together her experience trying to get pregnant with interesting details about the history of "test tube babies," IVF and the whole world of fertility treatments. Woven in are powerful observations about herteronormativity and homophobia. I don't have kids, but I have undergone "alternative" inseminations while married to a woman, so a There is something warm and endearing yet intelligent about Jennifer Berney's voice. This book feels tender, honest and yet straight-forward. It masterfully weaves together her experience trying to get pregnant with interesting details about the history of "test tube babies," IVF and the whole world of fertility treatments. Woven in are powerful observations about herteronormativity and homophobia. I don't have kids, but I have undergone "alternative" inseminations while married to a woman, so a lot of this I related to. But you don't have to have that life experience to appreciate this book. Favorite quote: "I thought of my grandmothers, whom I knew, and the great-grandmothers whom I had never met, grandmothers who may never have approved of my life as it was but who forged a path all the same. I thought of of all of them, before me, bearing children. I thought of their fears and imagined them alone in those fears, their husbands off at the bar, or off at sea, or sleeping beside the, likely unaware that women had worries of substance. Something about the thought of them, their worries and their lives, the fact thatthey had carried on and made it to the end and then departed, entering the realm of air and light--something about this was a comfort to me, bigger than the shape of my own fears." Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of this wonderful book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I received a free copy of this ARC from NetGalley.com to read and give an honest review on. Jennifer Berney's memoir about her path to motherhood as a lesbian who faced fertility issues and medical establishments that wouldn't or couldn't truly see her was a story that needs to be told (and heard!) In our society. So often people assume that things should be easy for the LGBTQ+ community now, but there are real issues still happening every day. By telling her story, Jennifer takes us along on a j I received a free copy of this ARC from NetGalley.com to read and give an honest review on. Jennifer Berney's memoir about her path to motherhood as a lesbian who faced fertility issues and medical establishments that wouldn't or couldn't truly see her was a story that needs to be told (and heard!) In our society. So often people assume that things should be easy for the LGBTQ+ community now, but there are real issues still happening every day. By telling her story, Jennifer takes us along on a journey that is both painful and ultimately beautiful. This book is a must-read. Even as a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, I didn't realize the things we still face! A lesbian seeking to do an IUI or IVF will be diagnosed in paperwork as the couple having male-factor infertility. I had never even THOUGHT about that. My eyes were opened repeatedly reading Jennifer's path through doctors and specialists in an effort to make her dream of a child a reality. We can all stand to keep learning, and I think this is a great resource, told in a funny and emotional way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Marshall

    Jennifer Berney is a fantastic writer--thoughtful, incisive and funny.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    “The Other Mother’s: Two Women’s Journey To Find The Family That Was Always Theirs” (2021) by Jennifer Burney, is an informative thoughtfully written memoir that explores lesbian motherhood. There are a vast number of complex issues, some obvious and others not so much. Burney shares the process that begins in stages: the selection of a donor and health services—that never turn out as expected, the actual IVF treatment and healthcare, pregnancy, and preparation for motherhood, aftercare and what “The Other Mother’s: Two Women’s Journey To Find The Family That Was Always Theirs” (2021) by Jennifer Burney, is an informative thoughtfully written memoir that explores lesbian motherhood. There are a vast number of complex issues, some obvious and others not so much. Burney shares the process that begins in stages: the selection of a donor and health services—that never turn out as expected, the actual IVF treatment and healthcare, pregnancy, and preparation for motherhood, aftercare and what follows. The process to begin the journey was “dreaded” by Burney’s wife Kellie, who was often mistaken for Burney’s mother, aunt or relative. With the increased awareness of LGBTQ marriage, gay rights etc. it really isn’t the case that the medical professional establishment is free of bias and stigma, the “Male Factor Infertility” had to be listed in the paperwork. The lack of understanding and compassion by Dr. Lu and Dr. Nelson for this couple was unjustified; it was painfully obvious that their clinic only wanted to serve heterosexual couples. The Oakland Feminist Women’s Health Center (est.1982-) is the only non-profit sperm bank in the U.S. An extension clinic, the “Rainbow Flag” (est. 1982) was the first to actively match gay male donors to lesbian couples and to recognize that lesbians needed and deserved healthcare tailored to their own needs. The demand for donor sperm would escalate tremendously with AIDS/HIV. Burney noted that had she sought care in San Francisco her and Kellie’s experience may have been quite different. In addition, Burney addresses the question many family and friends: “Why don’t you just adopt?” In 1954, Harry and Bertha Holt, an evangelical Christian couple began an international movement to facilitate adoptions of foreign born “orphans”. Many adoption agencies today are religious and faith based and do not permit adoptions by LGBTQ parents. The adoptions of children from abroad have decreased significantly due to illegal activity: the kidnapping and trafficking of children. In any case, all adoptions are extremely expensive, and favor married heterosexual couples with high incomes. Burney’s book highlights how cultural and social stigma can be overcome with the love and understanding of family and friends. (3.5*GOOD) **With appreciation to Sourcebooks via NetGalley for the DDC for the purpose of review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Edie

    This is our May evening North Wales Library book group choice and I commend our librarian Jayne for choosing it. It will make a great book group discussion. It is about time that we treat the LGBTQ community as regular upstanding people and not as outcasts. This book covers a topic that is very, very close and personal to me...wanting a child and being a mother...Just because a girl is a lesbian doesn't mean that she doesn't have the desire to be a mother. This memoir traces Jennifer's journey t This is our May evening North Wales Library book group choice and I commend our librarian Jayne for choosing it. It will make a great book group discussion. It is about time that we treat the LGBTQ community as regular upstanding people and not as outcasts. This book covers a topic that is very, very close and personal to me...wanting a child and being a mother...Just because a girl is a lesbian doesn't mean that she doesn't have the desire to be a mother. This memoir traces Jennifer's journey to become a mother and it is not an easy one. The doctors,nurses and fertility specialists that she first dealt with were not very nice or accomodating to her because of her being gay. The preconceived notions and prejudice that was shown in how they treated her was abominable. She took us through her infertility journey which was so honest. She showed everyone what a family is not necessarily blood ties. I related to all the testing, etc. that she went through and the disappointments and miscarriages as I experienced some of it myself. I felt for her throughout and knew why she didn't adopt when people asked her too. Having adopted a daughter and conceiving a son we are on both sides . Jennifer and Kelly would have had a horrific time adopting at that time because of the fact that they were gay. Now things are very different back then they weren't . I highly recommend this book as it dealt with Lesbian motherhood, healthcare, infertility, pregnancy as well as aftercare. I give it 5 stars. I recommend this book to all to read as it is an honest memoir of family and love and what some people have to go through to become a mother.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gina Troisi

    This beautiful book is a must read. It tells the story of two women meant for motherhood, and the difficult path they were forced to travel in order to get what should have been easily won. Jennifer Berney's clean, poetic writing tells a heart wrenching tale of loneliness, desire, and determination, as her intimate narration becomes universal, permeated with the realities of love and longing and belonging. The memoir is enhanced by Berney's integration of research and evidence and backstory, open This beautiful book is a must read. It tells the story of two women meant for motherhood, and the difficult path they were forced to travel in order to get what should have been easily won. Jennifer Berney's clean, poetic writing tells a heart wrenching tale of loneliness, desire, and determination, as her intimate narration becomes universal, permeated with the realities of love and longing and belonging. The memoir is enhanced by Berney's integration of research and evidence and backstory, opening the reader's eyes to an outdated and exclusive medical system that desperately needs to be revamped and reevaluated. This book poses necessary questions about biological ties, women's health, and expectations surrounding our individual and collective fates. The Other Mothers displays the power of community--of friends and extended family--and the way we can make our own rules, design our own lives and reassess the meaning of the stories told by history. Jennifer Berney's voice and authentic storytelling is exquisite; it was an honor and a pleasure to follow her home.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the chance to read The Other Mothers by Jennifer Berney. This was a memoir that I couldn’t put down, I always fine it difficult to review and rate books like this, it’s someone’s life, someone’s story and the idea of someone saying it’s worth a two or three star is exhausting; but I easily give this five out of five. Jennifer recalls the story of her journey to motherhood as a young, gay woman living in America. Combined with some actual stats and fa Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the chance to read The Other Mothers by Jennifer Berney. This was a memoir that I couldn’t put down, I always fine it difficult to review and rate books like this, it’s someone’s life, someone’s story and the idea of someone saying it’s worth a two or three star is exhausting; but I easily give this five out of five. Jennifer recalls the story of her journey to motherhood as a young, gay woman living in America. Combined with some actual stats and facts about pregnancy, adoption and even the history of female medical tools you find yourself as a key player in her life. From heartbreak, to relationships, from family dynamics, to joy, surprise and love you’ll go on this journey with Jennifer and Kellie (her partner) as they find out what it means to be a mother.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Gilgore

    I was blown away by this striking memoir of a couple’s experience with conceiving. The author expertly crafted her story with historical facts and scientific research so you could get a complete understanding of the social backstory impacting her own. I was also drawn to this story as it takes place in the PNW where I am from and returned to as an adult. It was emotional, but informative and not always surprising, to read about the systems that create poor care for lgbtq couples and how that dir I was blown away by this striking memoir of a couple’s experience with conceiving. The author expertly crafted her story with historical facts and scientific research so you could get a complete understanding of the social backstory impacting her own. I was also drawn to this story as it takes place in the PNW where I am from and returned to as an adult. It was emotional, but informative and not always surprising, to read about the systems that create poor care for lgbtq couples and how that directly impacted their quest for a family. Despite that, this book is inspiring and full of love: from the community, their family, and each other. Thanks netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    The Other Mothers talks about infertility and pregnancy from a unique perspective: Jenn and her wife Kellie want a baby, but where do they obtain the necessary sperm? Jenn describes their and her experience since she was the one who would carry the baby and get inseminated. They couple tries different avenues and is very candid with the successes, failures, and the complications of every choice they made. I read this book with great interest. The traditional nuclear family has expanded to incorp The Other Mothers talks about infertility and pregnancy from a unique perspective: Jenn and her wife Kellie want a baby, but where do they obtain the necessary sperm? Jenn describes their and her experience since she was the one who would carry the baby and get inseminated. They couple tries different avenues and is very candid with the successes, failures, and the complications of every choice they made. I read this book with great interest. The traditional nuclear family has expanded to incorporate all different types of definitions of what constitutes a family. It’s an enlightening read, delving onto a gay couple’s path to parenthood. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the early read..

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christy deClairmont

    I was blown away by this intimate memoir of a lesbian couple’s journey to motherhood. Jennifer Berney tells the struggles and triumphs of conception, motherhood, and family as a queer woman. Her story is enhanced by the integration of research and evidence, opening my eyes to the outdated and exclusive models for medicine and fertility. It was heart wrenching to read about Jennifer’s experience and path of doctors and specialists in an effort to make her dream of being a mother a reality. With no I was blown away by this intimate memoir of a lesbian couple’s journey to motherhood. Jennifer Berney tells the struggles and triumphs of conception, motherhood, and family as a queer woman. Her story is enhanced by the integration of research and evidence, opening my eyes to the outdated and exclusive models for medicine and fertility. It was heart wrenching to read about Jennifer’s experience and path of doctors and specialists in an effort to make her dream of being a mother a reality. With no man factoring into her relationship, she was misdiagnosed, often disparaged by doctors, and her medical needs were overlooked. The Other Mothers is raw, honest, interesting, and informative. I highly recommend. *ARC provided by NetGalley. Thank you for the chance to read this book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    A poignant and informative memoir about a lesbian couple trying to have a child of their own, Berney's writing is eloquent and concise, full of emotion and practical knowledge. We learn extensively about the process of finding a sperm donor, the failures of the medical system in dealing with same-sex couples, the challenges of adoption, and the heartbreaking extent some couples must go in order to have children. I was so moved by Berney's experience. There are many components of her experience t A poignant and informative memoir about a lesbian couple trying to have a child of their own, Berney's writing is eloquent and concise, full of emotion and practical knowledge. We learn extensively about the process of finding a sperm donor, the failures of the medical system in dealing with same-sex couples, the challenges of adoption, and the heartbreaking extent some couples must go in order to have children. I was so moved by Berney's experience. There are many components of her experience that are not typical, but just as many that heterosexual couples also go through. I have a much better understanding of the obstacles gay couples face when it comes to family planning and much more empathy for them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Wow. This book knocked my socks off. I raced through Berney's memoir of marrying her partner in Washington, deciding they wanted to have a child and struggling through the fertility system while being othered. At one point her doctor at the infertility clinic puts her and her partner down as experiencing male infertility. Berney laughs and then realizes that the doctor isn't joking. As Berney says, there was no option to mark down 'lesbian'. This book is moving and honest. I found it to be a qui Wow. This book knocked my socks off. I raced through Berney's memoir of marrying her partner in Washington, deciding they wanted to have a child and struggling through the fertility system while being othered. At one point her doctor at the infertility clinic puts her and her partner down as experiencing male infertility. Berney laughs and then realizes that the doctor isn't joking. As Berney says, there was no option to mark down 'lesbian'. This book is moving and honest. I found it to be a quick, powerful read that gave me insight into her experiences being a queer woman trying to have a child. Highly recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary Camarillo

    The Other Mothers documents the journey a lesbian couple takes to have a child of their own. Their biggest obstacle turns out to be the traditional fertility clinics and medical communities that don’t know how to deal with a couple without a male partner. Ms. Berney explains the history of fertility and the LGBTG+ community in clear, precise prose. I loved the calm, collected voice of this narrator who had a lifelong desire to be a mother and was stubborn and determined enough to make her dream The Other Mothers documents the journey a lesbian couple takes to have a child of their own. Their biggest obstacle turns out to be the traditional fertility clinics and medical communities that don’t know how to deal with a couple without a male partner. Ms. Berney explains the history of fertility and the LGBTG+ community in clear, precise prose. I loved the calm, collected voice of this narrator who had a lifelong desire to be a mother and was stubborn and determined enough to make her dream come true. I felt her emotion and honesty in every step of her journey as she learns about friendship, love and what it means to be a family. I found it impossible to put down.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Francis M. Torres

    So informative, and very NOW, especially for me, I’m married and my husband and I have been discussing children, and to actually have Netgalley give me this amazing opportunity to read this book, and its full of amazing information that is helpful and also brings up topics of discussion that I never knew was really discussed in the LGBTQ community? Especially if they want to have kids, and the things they go through, and how hard it is for them? I was in awe. I learned so much from reading this So informative, and very NOW, especially for me, I’m married and my husband and I have been discussing children, and to actually have Netgalley give me this amazing opportunity to read this book, and its full of amazing information that is helpful and also brings up topics of discussion that I never knew was really discussed in the LGBTQ community? Especially if they want to have kids, and the things they go through, and how hard it is for them? I was in awe. I learned so much from reading this book, I keep reading amazing memoirs and when this book launches I will be purchasing and adding it to my bookshelf. Thank you also to the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Keema

    When Jennifer Berney and her partner decide they want to become parents they’re faced with a patriarchal system designed for straight couples. They pursue assisted reproduction and consider the alternatives lesbian partners have employed in the past. Their path to parenthood ultimately forces them to ditch the fertility treatments and become mothers with the help of their community instead. Rich with research and great with heart, “The Other Mothers” is a deeply impactful exploration of the barr When Jennifer Berney and her partner decide they want to become parents they’re faced with a patriarchal system designed for straight couples. They pursue assisted reproduction and consider the alternatives lesbian partners have employed in the past. Their path to parenthood ultimately forces them to ditch the fertility treatments and become mothers with the help of their community instead. Rich with research and great with heart, “The Other Mothers” is a deeply impactful exploration of the barriers queer couples face in the pursuit of family. I believe this book is here to do good work in the world.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is the book that I wish I had 16 years ago when we embarked on the unknown path to motherhood. I loved the mix of historical context and the author's personal journey. I definitely think there is a need for more books like this. Books that tell the real, human stories of LGBTI+ families. Books that speak to just how much these children are wanted and cherished. There are so many misconceptions from people about A.I., donors, adoption, etc. I'm glad this book exists to help educate and illum This is the book that I wish I had 16 years ago when we embarked on the unknown path to motherhood. I loved the mix of historical context and the author's personal journey. I definitely think there is a need for more books like this. Books that tell the real, human stories of LGBTI+ families. Books that speak to just how much these children are wanted and cherished. There are so many misconceptions from people about A.I., donors, adoption, etc. I'm glad this book exists to help educate and illuminate the path to lesbian parenthood. #NetGalley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diana Whitney

    This beautiful memoir about lesbian family-building is deeply personal, carefully researched, and spun into a feminist page-turner. Jenn weaves her own journey to motherhood with the history of the fertility industry and the struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ+ communities. “What if families are really a collection of stories, some of them spoken, some of them withheld?” Jenn asks. I laughed, cried, learned so much, and could not put this book down.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer M.

    Very good and educational story about two mothers navigating life. As simple as that sounds, it's so not, and that's what makes this books so great. Normally when I get ready for bed at night, I read two or three books, and some nights, I may read up to four. But when I was ready The Other Mothers, it was the only one I focused on, because it was so earnest and good. I felt the struggle and the sadness and my heart hurt along with the author. 4.5/5 Stars Very good and educational story about two mothers navigating life. As simple as that sounds, it's so not, and that's what makes this books so great. Normally when I get ready for bed at night, I read two or three books, and some nights, I may read up to four. But when I was ready The Other Mothers, it was the only one I focused on, because it was so earnest and good. I felt the struggle and the sadness and my heart hurt along with the author. 4.5/5 Stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Shattuck

    Berney's beautiful, natural prose offers a sensitive window into her journey of becoming a mother. Her gentle critique of her experience of trying to conceive as a lesbian in a heteronormative world was eye-opening, and the research sprinkled throughout the book added fascinating context. A must-read for anyone who's ever felt like they're different or who just plain appreciates gorgeous writing. Berney's beautiful, natural prose offers a sensitive window into her journey of becoming a mother. Her gentle critique of her experience of trying to conceive as a lesbian in a heteronormative world was eye-opening, and the research sprinkled throughout the book added fascinating context. A must-read for anyone who's ever felt like they're different or who just plain appreciates gorgeous writing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this title. I really enjoyed this well written and researched memoir about a woman's desire to have a family, and what she went through to make it happen. I found myself compelled to finish, and to know what would happen for Jenn and Kelly. I deeply appreciated the zoomed out perspective on how the issues and discussions they experienced applied to other couples, both queer and straight. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this title. I really enjoyed this well written and researched memoir about a woman's desire to have a family, and what she went through to make it happen. I found myself compelled to finish, and to know what would happen for Jenn and Kelly. I deeply appreciated the zoomed out perspective on how the issues and discussions they experienced applied to other couples, both queer and straight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Jennifer Berney’s memoir about her and her partner’s journey towards motherhood feels intimate and raw. Her ability to organically include history on obstetrics and queer parenting is delightful. I love birth stories. I love found family. I am hopeful that continued awareness of bias and inequity will change healthcare and brave stories like this will pave the way.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rowan

    Sweet memoir of a queer/lesbian couple’s journey trying to conceive and start a family. Begins with the complexity of coming out, continues with the heterosexism encountered on the fertility journey, and includes both moments of challenging decisions as well as some historical notes about the gendered history of sperm banks and so forth. Highly recommend!

  30. 5 out of 5

    James Gross

    if the women had married men, the issue of a sperm donor would not have come up. im not questioning that they are married. but trying to have a baby too? if you want a baby, a woman needs a man. if u want a lesbian union, you should know that both of you have eggs but no sperm. basic biology. its all in the bible, old and new testament.

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