Doing parenthood among queer non-female identifying persons in Switzerland and the Netherlands

von Dr. Carole Ammann

In today’s globalized world, discussions about what kind of biological and social parenthood practices are permitted, desired, and lived are widespread. Today, many forms of parenthood exist, and parenthood is realised in diverse family constellations. Due to recent legal changes around partnership, marriage, and parenthood, as well as the emergence of new reproductive technologies, more and more queer persons in Switzerland (locally called Regenbogenfamilien) and the Netherlands (locally called roze gezinnen) are raising children. Those two countries have very different histories and practices regarding LGBTIQ+-rights: In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country in Europe to permit same-sex couples to marry. In September 2021, the Swiss voting population will have the final say about 'marriage for all'.

In this project, I build on a former project on fatherhood in the 21st century and explore how parenthood is understood, experienced, negotiated, and enacted among queer non-female identifying persons. I want to find out how they are doing fatherhood in a heteronormative gender-binary environment, in which they still face many (legal) insecurities and various forms of discrimination. Moreover, I aim to explore how queer non-female identifying persons deal with social expectations regarding ‘good’ parenthood. To pay attention to the heterogeneity among queer non-female identifying persons, I adopt an intersectional approach to research how social differences are interwoven with parenthood. Concretely, I will pay attention to how sexuality, gender identity, class, age, education, working sector, level of employment and income, race, origin, citizenship, religion, body, (dis)ability, family constellation, and political preferences, intersect with and contribute to the shaping of parenthood. The data will be collected through biographical, narrative, and topic-centered interviews, observation, and analysis of discussions in various (online) media.