Dean's PhD thesis won the inaugural prize for best unpublished manuscript by an early-career researcher or higher-degree completer in the Dean’s Research Awards series. A book based on this research, Gay men pursuing parenthood through surrogacy: Reconfiguring kinship, analyses how
relatedness is enacted in the context of gay men pursuing parenthood through both domestic and transnational surrogacy arrangements. These men represent an important first generation to access assisted reproductive technologies for this purpose and are part of an increasing proportion of gay men becoming parents outside a (previous) heterosexual relationship.
Drawing on data collected from in-depth interviews with gay men living in Australia and the USA, the book explores how gay men ‘enact’ parenthood and family life in ways that both challenge and reinforce dominant notions of kinship and masculinity. The findings demonstrate that men come to experience parenthood desire largely because of the new narratives and opportunities being made available to them today. Like most people, they grew up with parenthood expectations, although these were challenged when they assumed a gay identity.