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Works by
Harlyn Aizley

Profile created March 2, 2007
  • Buying Dad: One Woman’s Search for the Perfect Sperm Donor (2003)
    What do two nice Jewish girls do when they want to start a family? They can marry two nice Jewish boys. Or, if they happen to be lesbians, they can buy sperm online from California! Buying Dad (Alyson Publications, July 2003) is a hilarious, edgy, first-person chronicle of a year in the life of a woman engaged in a very alternative family-planning experience.

    Peeling back the layers of self-indulgence accumulated in thirty-odd years as a self-proclaimed gay, childless, albeit happy neurotic, Aizley takes the reader on one of the most personal, intimate, and utterly female journeys any woman, gay or straight, can make - that of becoming a mother.

    Aizley's story begins with the search for sperm - Known or unknown donor? Delivered on dry ice or in a nitrogen tank? The journey unfolds within the context of her relationship with her female partner, her mother's diagnosis of cancer, the threat of her own possible infertility, and finally pregnancy itself.

    Aizley's wry voice and candid prose embrace this confluence of major life events with the humor and wisdom that make Buying Dad accessible not only to other lesbians, but to any woman who ever has considered ending a lifetime of sleep-filled nights and becoming a parent.

  • Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell (2006) -- Finalist 2006 Lambda Literary Award for Anthologies
    First comes love, then comes marriage, but who’s that second mommy with the baby carriage?

    After author Harlyn Aizley gave birth to her daughter, she watched in unanticipated horror as her partner scooped up the baby and said, "I'm your new mommy!" While they both had worked to find the perfect sperm donor, Aizley had spent nine months carrying the baby and hours in labor, so how could her partner claim to be their child's mommy?

    Many diapers later, Aizley began to appreciate the complexity of her partner's new role as the other mother. Together, they searched for stories about families like their own, in which a woman has chosen to forgo her own birth experience so that she might support her partner in hers. They found very few. Now, in Confessions of the Other Mother, Aizley has put together an exciting collection of personal stories by women like her partner who are creating new parenting roles, redefining motherhood, and reshaping our view of two-parent families. Contributors include Hillary Goodridge, who was one of the lead plaintiffs in the case for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, stand-up comedian Judy Gold, and psychologist and author Suzanne M. Johnson.

    This candid peek into a previously unexamined side of lesbian parenting is full of stories that are sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, but at all times celebratory. Each parenting tale sheds light on the many facets of motherhood, offering gay and straight readers alike a deeper understanding of what it means to love and parent in the twenty-first century.

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