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Queer StepfamiliesThe Path to Social and Legal Recognition$
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Katie L. Acosta

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479800957

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479800957.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Stepparents’ Familial Roles

Stepparents’ Familial Roles

Finding Their Way to Meaningful Contributions

(p.52) 2 Stepparents’ Familial Roles
Queer Stepfamilies

Katie L. Acosta

NYU Press

Acosta’s findings suggest same-sex parents divide child care and paid work based not on specialization but rather on their individual circumstances (such as earning capacity, physical health, and prospects of finding stable employment). Some stepparents were primary stepparents and stayed home with the children while their origin parent partners pursued career goals. Others were coordinators who mediated tensions between origin parents and facilitated the smooth transition of the children from one home to the other. The stepparent families in this study were most confident when all the parents abandoned the notion that they were in competition with one another. Even among families with lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer stepparents that include three or four mothers, focusing less on the hierarchy of motherhood frees up all the parents to instead focus on how they can contribute to the well-being of the children and do so not instead of another parent’s contribution but in addition to the contributions of other parents.

Keywords:   role ambiguity, stepparent roles, primary parents, egalitarian values, hierarchy of motherhood

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