My mothers and I: The story of Regina and Vanessa
written by Helena Prado Lopes
illus. by Alessandra Tozi
[Santa Cecilia, SP]: Helena Prado Lopes, 2013.
16 p. : Col. ill. , 22 x 22 cm.
My annotation: The first children’s book published out of Brazil on lesbian couples, this story about the use of donor sperm in lesbian households is really two stories in one. In the first part, we are introduced to Regina and Vanessa who have been together for five years and want to have a child but have trouble deciding whether to adopt or have their own, and if they decide to have their own, who will carry the child. When they finally decide, they visit a clinic that will work with lesbians. IVF is described as Regina’s egg is placed in a dish with a donor’s sperm. There is no discussion of how a sperm donor is selected, other than that sperm donors are “good and giving people” who leave their seed at the clinic because they want to help women have children. The second half of the story introduces us to Alice, Regina and Vanessa’s daughter, who is now six years old. It is assumed that she has already been told of her donor origins because the first half of the book is actually about what her parents went through to have her and because the book is also about her. Alice is described as a happy little girl who was “really really wanted” and who lives in a family like all other loving families except for the fact that she has two mothers. Because Alice’s conception is described in the first part of the book and her family life is described in the second half of the book, this book takes both a child-conception and a family-building approach. It also employs both “the helper” and the “labor of love” scripts. The book shows how much children of gay parents are wanted and loved in addition to teaching children about the process of their assisted conception. The full color illustrations are professionally rendered and it is recommended for children ages 5-8. Simultaneously published in both Portuguese and Spanish (not in English yet) and available directly from the author.
Available directly from the author: email@example.com