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ABSTRACT

Parenthood for lesbians is an alternative family structure appearing with increasing frequency, but there is a lack of documentation of the unique needs of this population and the effect of societal attitudes on the provision of health care to these women. Using a survey with 74 open-ended questions, the authors found that their sample population did seek care in the traditional health care system, but felt improvements could be made within that system. Participants felt a need for health care providers to educate themselves about lesbian life-styles and lesbian health care issues. Although the participants would prefer to receive care from a provider who happened to be lesbian, even more important was a provider with an open, supportive attitude. As a pilot study, this survey aids in developing an instrument appropriate for assessing the self-perceived needs of this target population.