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Chosen Families

Chosen families are nonbiological kinship bonds, whether legally recognized or not, deliberately chosen for the purpose of mutual support and love. The nuclear family unit was historically believed to include a husband, wife, and children. However, modern definitions of family have become more expansive and may include any configuration of individuals who provide support for one another. Chosen families have often been embraced within lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. Practitioners engaged in marriage, couples, and family counseling provide services to individuals in a variety of family configurations, some of which are chosen families. The purpose of this entry is to explore the social context in which chosen families have emerged, particularly the emergence of chosen families as a response to LGBT stigma and ...

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