University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)239-254
Journal publication dateApr 2005
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


This article draws upon data from research with 20 families in the UK, where lesbian couples have planned and had their first child together. I focus on the 'family practice' (Morgan, 1996) of choosing surnames for children as one example of decisions that are negotiated in the relative absence of any established norms to follow. I examine some of the dominant themes that underpin the ways in which respondents account for these choices, placed within the context of the wider theoretical debates about contemporary transformations of intimacy. I argue that a closer examination of family practices can reveal some of the tensions between respondents' stories of new ways of doing motherhood and family and provide new insights into some of the wider issues facing families who are reinventing family boundaries and the nature of the changes taking place.

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