Studies on same sex adoption

Navigation menu

international agencies prohibit adoption by same-sex couples, resulting in a pool Studies comparing LG and heterosexual parents in regard to mental health. Overview: We identified 79 scholarly studies that met our criteria for adding to knowledge about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents. Of those​. A Review and Critique of Research on Same-Sex Parenting and Adoption. Schumm WR(1). Author information: (1)School of Family Studies.

international agencies prohibit adoption by same-sex couples, resulting in a pool Studies comparing LG and heterosexual parents in regard to mental health. Overview: We identified 79 scholarly studies that met our criteria for adding to knowledge about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents. Of those​. A Review and Critique of Research on Same-Sex Parenting and Adoption. Schumm WR(1). Author information: (1)School of Family Studies.

international agencies prohibit adoption by same-sex couples, resulting in a pool Studies comparing LG and heterosexual parents in regard to mental health. (CBS News) A new study that finds children of a gay or lesbian parent may be more likely to have social and emotional problems has sparked. A Review and Critique of Research on Same-Sex Parenting and Adoption. Schumm WR(1). Author information: (1)School of Family Studies.






Overview: We identified 79 scholarly studies that met our criteria for adding to knowledge about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents.

Of those studies, 75 concluded that children of gay or lesbian parents fare no worse than other children. While many of the sample sizes were small, and some studies lacked a control group, researchers regard such studies as providing the best available knowledge about child adjustment, and do not view large, representative samples as essential. We identified four studies concluding that children of gay or lesbian parents face added disadvantages.

Since all four took their samples from children who endured family break-ups, a cohort known to face added risks, these studies have been criticized by many scholars as unreliable assessments of the well-being of LGB-headed households.

Taken adoption, this research forms an overwhelming scholarly consensus, based on over sex decades of peer-reviewed research, that having a gay or lesbian parent does not harm children.

At most a handful of the children who were studied were actually raised by same-sex parents; the rest came from families in which opposite-sex parents raised their children for a period of time, but in which, often, one or more parent s subsequently came out as gay or lesbian and left the family or had a same-sex relationship.

The result was a family that studies added stress and often disruption or family breakup. Authors of these outlier studies argue that, nevertheless, such configurations often represent families with gay or lesbian parents, and hence it is reasonable to count them as indicators of what happens when children live with one or more gay parent s.

Yet within the field, convenience sampling is not considered a methodological flaw, but simply a limitation to generalizability. Within sociology and especially psychology, small, qualitative and longitudinal studies are considered to have certain advantages over probability studies: Such data can allow investigators to notice and analyze subtleties and texture in child development over time that large, statistical studies often miss.

It is important to note, moreover, that some of the research that finds no differences among children with same-sex parents does use large, representative same. A study by Stanford researcher Michael Rosenfeld used census data to examine the school advancement of 3, children with same-sex parents, finding no significant differences between households same by same-sex and opposite-sex parents when controlling for family background.

Another study drew on nationally representative, longitudinal data using a sampling pool of over 20, children, of which lived in a same-sex parent household. Controlling for family disruptions, those children showed no significant differences from their peers in school outcomes.

Click here for a printer-friendly PDF of this overview report. Visit Source Website Adams, J. Scientific consensus, the law, and same sex parenting outcomes. Social Science Research, 53, While the US Supreme Court was considering two related cases involving the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, one major question informing adoption decision was whether scientific research had achieved consensus regarding how children of same-sex couples fare.

Determining the extent of consensus has become a key aspect of how social science evidence and testimony is accepted by the courts. Here, we show how a method of analyzing temporal patterns in citation networks can be used to assess the state of social scientific literature as a same to inform just such a adoption. Patterns of clustering within these citation networks reveal whether and when sex arises within a scientific field. Visit Source Website Allen, M.

Comparing the impact of homosexual and heterosexual parents on children: meta-analysis of existing research. Journal of Homosexuality, 32 2 Should the sexual orientation of the parent play a part in the determination of custody or visitation in order to protect the child?

This meta-analysis summa- rizes the available quantitative literature comparing the impact of heterosexual and homosexual parents, using a variety of measures, on the child ren. The analyses examine parenting practices, the emotional well-being of the child, and the sexual orientation of the child.

The results demonstrate no differences on any measures between the heterosexual and homosexual parents regarding parenting styles, emotional adjustment, and sexual orientation of the child ren. In other words, the data fail to support the continuation of a bias against homosexual parents by studies court. Visit Source Website Anderssen, N. Outcomes for children with lesbian or gay parents. A review of studies from to Scandinavian Journal of Psychology43 4 Twenty reported on offspring of lesbian mothers, and three on offspring of gay fathers.

The studies encompassed a total of offspring age range 1. Seven types of outcomes were found to be typical: emotional functioning, sexual preference, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, and cognitive functioning. Children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not systematically differ from other children on any of the outcomes.

The studies indicate that children raised by lesbian women do not experience adverse outcomes compared with other children. The same holds for children raised by gay men, but more studies should be done. Visit Source Website Same, R. Lesbian mother families and gay father families in Italy: family functioning, dyadic satisfaction, and child well-being.

Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 12 3 The literature underlines that lesbian mother and gay father families are similar to those with heterosexual parents, regarding family functioning, dyadic satisfaction, and child development. This paper compares 40 same-sex families and 40 heterosexual parents sex the Italian context. In Italy, it is impossible for same-sex couples or single lesbians and gay men to adopt a child, become married, or enter civil partnerships.

The studies were administered self-reports, in order to investigate the dyadic relationships, family functioning, and emotional and social adjustment of their children. Lesbian and gay parents reported higher levels of dyadic adjustment, flexibility, and communication in their family than heterosexual parents.

Data from the present study demonstrated that children raised by lesbian and gay parents showed a similar level of emotion regulation and psychological well-being than children raised by heterosexual parents. In Italy, negative attitudes towards same-sex families persist, and educational programs should be developed to deconstruct stereotypes regarding gay and lesbian parent families.

These results have important implications in both clinical and social fields. Visit Source Website Bailey, J. Sexual orientation of adult sons of gay fathers. Developmental Psychology, 31 1 The sexual development of children of gay and lesbian parents is interesting for both scientific and social reasons. The sex study is the largest to date to focus on the sexual orientation of adult sons of gay men. From advertisements in gay publications, 55 gay or bisexual men were recruited who reported on 82 sons at least 17 yrs of age.

Furthermore, gay and heterosexual sons did not differ on potentially relevant variables such as the length of time they had lived with their same. Visit Source Website Biblarz, T. How does the gender of parents matter? Journal of Marriage and Family, 72 1 Claims that children need both a mother and father presume adoption women and men parent differently in ways crucial to development but generally rely on studies that conflate gender with other family structure variables.

We analyze findings from studies with designs that mitigate these problems by comparing two-parent families with same or different sex coparents and single-mother and single-father families. Strengths typically associated sex married mother-father families appear to the same extent in families with 2 mothers and potentially in those with 2 fathers.

Average differences favor women over men, but parenting skills are not dichotomous or exclusive. Visit Source Website Bos, H. Planned gay father families in kinship arrangements. The gay fathers in this study studies became parents while in same-sex relationships. They donated sperm to lesbian couples and then shared the child-rearing with them in kinship arrangements.

It was also examined whether aspects that are related specifically to gay fathers i. Data were collected by means of questionnaires filled same by the studies. However, gay fathers studies less competent in their child-rearing role than heterosexual fathers. We assessed whether associations among family relationships, parenting stress, and child outcomes were different in the 2 household adoption.

Methods: Parental and child characteristics were matched for 95 female same-sex parent and 95 different-sex studies households with children 6 to 17 years old. One parent per household was interviewed by telephone. Multivariate analyses of variance and multiple linear regressions were conducted.

Results: No differences were observed between household types on family relationships or any child outcomes. No significant interactions between adoption type and family relationships or household type and parenting stress were found for any child outcomes. Conclusion: Children with female same-sex parents and different-sex parents demonstrated no differences in outcomes, despite female same-sex parents reporting more parenting stress. Future studies may reveal the same of sex parenting stress.

Sex Roles, 62This study compared gender identity, anticipated future heterosexual romantic involvement, and psychosocial adjustment studies children in same and heterosexual families; it was furthermore assessed whether associations between these aspects differed between family types.

Data were obtained in the Netherlands from children in 63 lesbian families and 68 heterosexual families. All children were between 8 and 12 years old. Sex in lesbian families felt less parental pressure to conform to gender stereotypes, were less likely to experience their own gender adoption superior and were more likely to be uncertain about future heterosexual romantic involvement.

No differences were sex on psychosocial adjustment. Gender typicality, gender contentedness and anticipated future heterosexual romantic involvement were significant predictors of psychosocial adjustment in both family types.

Lesbian families and family functioning: an overview. Patient Education and Counseling, 59 3 In the research on lesbian families two phases were identified.

To begin with, systematic studies on lesbian families focused on lesbian families with children who were born in a previous heterosexual relationship. More recently, studies included lesbian families whose children were born to the lesbian couple planned lesbian families.

This paper presents and discusses major finding of the reviewed articles. However, it is the stigma of lesbianism that makes the family situation of lesbian families different. Child adjustment and parenting in planned lesbian-parent families. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77 1 One hundred planned lesbian-parent families i. Questionnaires, observations, and a diary of activities adoption used to collect the data. The results show that especially lesbian social mothers i.

Parent-reported, multidimensional measures of child health and wellbeing and the relationship to perceived stigma were measured. A meta-analysis of developmental outcomes for children of same-sex and heterosexual parents.

While there has been a recent upsurge in the number of studies related to children raised by gay and lesbian parents, the literature in this area continues to be small and wrought with limitations.

This study presents a meta-analysis of the existing research and focuses on the developmental outcomes and quality of parent-child relationships among children raised by gay and lesbian parents. A total of 19 studies were used for this analysis and included both child and parent outcome measures addressing six areas.

Analyses revealed statistically significant effect size differences between groups for one of the six outcomes: parent-child relationship. Results confirm previous studies in this current body of literature, suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents fare equally well to children raised by heterosexual parents. The authors discuss findings with respect to the implications for practitioners in schools. Visit Source Website Erich, S.

A comparative analysis of adoptive family functioning with gay, lesbian, and heterosexual parents and their children. The objectives of this comparative study were to examine adoptive family functioning with a sample of gay, lesbian, and heterosexual adoptive parents and their children. Furthermore, a regression analysis suggested the following variables were associated with higher levels of family functioning: adoptive parents who were previously foster parents and children who had more previous placements prior to adoption.

Lower family functioning was associated with children adopted through CPS; with children who had mental health diagnoses, learning disorders, or other handicapping conditions; and with children who were in a higher grade in school. The results of this comparative study of adoptive families support the need for more methodologically rigorous research that includes gay and lesbian adoptive parents along with heterosexual parents.

An empirical analysis of factors affecting adolescent attachment in adoptive families with homosexual and straight parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 31 3 , This study was principally interested in factors affecting adolescent attachment including parent sexual orientation, adolescent and parent life satisfaction, and parent level of relationship satisfaction with their adopted child as well as other key parent, child and adoption characteristics.

The results suggest that higher level of adopted adolescent attachment to parents is not related to adoptive parent sexual orientation. Adolescent life satisfaction, like level of attachment is an indicator of youth well-being. This variable was found to have a significant relationship with parent level of relationship satisfaction with their adopted child. Implications for policy, practice, education and further research are discussed. Visit Source Website Falk, P.

Lesbian mothers: Psychosocial assumptions in family law. American Psychologist, 44 6 , Courts often have assumed that lesbian women are emotionally unstable or unable to assume a maternal role. They also often have assumed that their children are likely to be emotionally harmed, subject to molestation, impaired in gender role development, or themselves homosexual.

None of these assumptions is supported by extant research and theory. Visit Source Website Farr, R. Parenting and child development in adoptive families: does parental sexual orientation matter? Applied Developmental Science, 14 3 , Parents and teachers reported that, on average, children were developing in typical ways.

Implications for understanding the role of gender and sexual orientation in parenting, as well as for legal and policy debates, are discussed.

Child Development, 84 4 , Coparenting is associated with child behavior in families with heterosexual parents, but less is known about coparenting among lesbian- and gay-parent families.

Lesbian and gay couples reported sharing child care, whereas heterosexual couples reported specialization i. Observations confirmed this pattern—lesbian and gay parents participated more equally than heterosexual parents during family interaction. Lesbian couples showed the most supportive and least undermining behavior, whereas gay couples showed the least supportive behavior, and heterosexual couples the most undermining behavior.

Overall, supportive coparenting was associated with better child adjustment. Does parental sexual orientation matter? A longitudinal follow-up of adoptive families with school-age children. Developmental Psychology, 53 2 , Controversy continues to surround parenting by lesbian and gay LG adults and outcomes for their children. As sexual minority parents increasingly adopt children, longitudinal research about child development, parenting, and family relationships is crucial for informing such debates.

From the framework of family stress theory, it was expected that longitudinal outcomes for school-age children adopted in infancy could be distinct among those with same-sex versus other-sex parents N! Similar findings were hypothesized in terms of parent adjustment, couple relationships, and family functioning in comparing same-sex and other-sex parent families.

Results indicated that adjustment among children, parents, and couples, as well as family functioning, were not different on the basis of parental sexual orientation lesbian, gay, or heterosexual when children were school-age.

These findings are consistent with and extend previous literature about families headed by LG parents, particularly those that have adopted children. The results have implications for advancing supportive policies, practices, and laws related to adoption and parenting by sexual minority adults. Visit Source Website Fedewa, A. Parent practices and home-school partnerships: a differential effect for children with same-sex coupled parents?

Parents can profoundly influence the long-term academic success of their children. Unfortunately, same-sex parents often feel disconnected and unwelcome in schools.

In order to extend the research supporting parent practices and strong family-school collaboration, the present study used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort ECLS-K data set to examine the following: 1 How same-sex families compare to heterosexual families with respect to the parental practices of helping and communicating; 2 How home-school partnerships compare across same-sex and heterosexual families; and 3 Whether a strong home-school partnership is more important for the academic achievement and social adjustment of children with same-sex parents given the societal context in which these children are embedded.

Results indicated that same-sex and heterosexual parents did not differ with respect to their parent practices or home-school partnerships. Further, home-school partnerships were not differentially important for children with same-sex parents. Visit Source Website Flaks, D. Compared 15 lesbian couples and the 3- to 9-yr-old children born to them through donor insemination with 15 matched, heterosexual-parent families.

Results revealed no significant differences between the 2 groups of children, who also compared favorably with the standardization samples for the instruments used. In addition, no significant differences were found between dyadic adjustment of lesbian and heterosexual couples. Only in the area of parenting did the 2 groups of couples differ; lesbian couples exhibited more parenting awareness skills than did heterosexual couples.

The implications of these findings are discussed. Visit Source Website Fulcher, M. Contact with grandparents among children conceived via donor insemination by lesbian and heterosexual mothers. Parenting, 2 1 , This study compared the networks of extended family and friendship relationships of children conceived via donor insemination with lesbian versus heterosexual parents. Eighty families participated; 55 of the families were headed by lesbians parents and 25 were headed by heterosexual parents.

Most children had regular contact with grandparents, other relatives, and adult nonrelatives outside their immediate households, and there were no differences in this regard as a function of parental sexual orientation. Bother children of lesbian and heterosexual parents had more frequent contact with the parents of their biological mother than with the parents of their father or other mother.

Contrary to negative stereotypes, children of lesbian mothers were described as having regular contact with grandparents. Regardless of parental sexual orientation, children were described as being in more frequent contact with grandparents to whom they were biologically linked. Research on children of lesbian parents has suggested that such children are developing well, but questions have been raised about their gender development. Participants were 66 preschool children and their parents from the East Coast of the United States.

Thirty-three families were headed by lesbian and 33 by heterosexual couples. Parents who divided paid and unpaid labor more unequally had children whose occupational aspirations were also more traditional.

Visit Source Website Gartrell, N. National longitudinal lesbian family study: sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and sexual risk exposure. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40 6 , Data for the current report were gathered through online questionnaires completed by 78 adolescent offspring 39 girls and 39 boys. The adolescents were asked if they had ever been abused and, if so, to specify by whom and the type of abuse verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual.

They were also asked to specify their sexual identity on the Kinsey scale, between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual. Lifetime sexual behavior was assessed through questions about heterosexual and same-sex contact, age of first sexual experience, contraception use, and pregnancy. The results revealed that there were no reports of physical or sexual victimization by a parent or other caregiver.

Regarding sexual orientation, When compared with age- and gender-matched adolescents of the National Survey of Family Growth, the study offspring were significantly older at the time of their first heterosexual contact, and the daughters of lesbian mothers were significantly more likely to have had same-sex contact. These findings suggest that adolescents reared in lesbian families are less likely than their peers to be victimized by a parent or other caregiver, and that daughters of lesbian mothers are more likely to engage in same-sex behavior and to identify as bisexual.

Us national longitudinal lesbian family study: psychological adjustment of year-old adolescents. Pediatrics, 1 , Data for the current report were gathered through interviews and questionnaires that were completed by 78 index offspring when they were 10 and 17 years old and through interviews and Child Behavior Checklists that were completed by their mothers at corresponding times. Within the lesbian family sample, no Child Behavior Checklist differences were found among adolescent offspring who were conceived by known, as-yet-unknown, and permanently unknown donors or between offspring whose mothers were still together and offspring whose mothers had separated.

Conclusions: Adolescents who have been reared in lesbian-mother families since birth demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment. These findings have implications for the clinical care of adolescents and for pediatricians who are consulted on matters that pertain to same-sex parenting. Adolescents with lesbian mothers describe their own lives. Journal of Homosexuality, 59 9 , Empirical research on the everyday life experiences of adolescents reared by lesbian mothers is limited.

Results revealed that the year-old adolescents were academically successful in supportive school environments. They had active social networks and close family bonds. Nearly all considered their mothers good role models. The adolescents rated their overall wellbeing an average of 8.

The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed. The national lesbian family study: 4. Interviews with the year-old children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75 4 , This 4th report from a longitudinal study of U. Results indicate that the prevalence of physical and sexual abuse in these children was lower than national norms.

In social and psychological development, the children were comparable to children raised in heterosexual families. Children of unknown donors were indistinguishable from those with known donors in psychological adjustment. The children demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of diversity and tolerance. Visit Source Website Goldberg, A. How does it make a difference? Perspectives of adults with lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77 4 , Few studies have addressed the experiences or perceptions of adult children of lesbian, gay, and bisexual LGB parents.

In this study, 46 adult children of LGB parents were interviewed, and their perceptions of how growing up with LGB parents influenced them as adults were examined. Qualitative analysis revealed that adults felt that they were more tolerant and open minded and had more flexible ideas about gender and sexuality as a function of growing up with LGB parents. Participants often felt protective of their parents and the gay community, and some went to great efforts to defend them to peers, family members, and society.

The importance of understanding these findings in the context of societal heterosexism is discussed. Predictors of psychological adjustment in early placed adopted children with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents.

Journal of Family Psychology, 27 3 , Little research has focused on predictors of psychological adjustment among early placed adopted children.

Additionally, the research on adopted children in lesbian or gay parent-families is sparse. The current study examined 40 female same-sex, 35 male same-sex, and 45 different-sex parent families with adopted children, all of whom were placed in their adoptive homes under the age of 18 months. Findings revealed that lack of parental preparation for the adoption, and parental depressive symptoms, were associated with higher parent-reported levels of both externalizing and internalizing symptoms.

Our findings point to the importance of considering the adoptive family context including parent and couple subsystems in predicting later adjustment in early placed adopted children, in diverse family contexts. Visit Source Website Goldberg, N. Journal of Health Psychology, 16 8 , Although studies show that adolescents with same-sex parents experience homophobic discrimination, little is known about associations between stigmatization and substance use in this population.

The year-old offspring of lesbian parents from the largest, longest-running, longitudinal study of same-sex parented families were surveyed about substance use, experiences of homophobic stigmatization, and overall life satisfaction. Compared to matched adolescents from a national probability sample, adolescents with same-sex parents were more likely to report occasional substance use but not more likely to report heavy use.

No associations were found between substance use and homophobic stigmatization or life satisfaction. Visit Source Website Golombok, S.

Children with lesbian parents: A community study. Developmental Psychology, 39 1 , Existing research on children with lesbian parents is limited by reliance on volunteer or convenience samples. The present study examined the quality of parent-child relationships and the socioemotional and gender development of a community sample of 7-year-old children with lesbian parents.

Families were recruited through the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a geographic population study of 14, mothers and their children. Findings are in line with those of earlier investigations showing positive mother-child relationships and well-adjusted children.

Children in lesbian and single-parent households: psychosexual and psychiatric appraisal. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 24 4 , Thirty-seven school-age children reared in 27 lesbian households were compared with 38 school-age children reared in 27 heterosexual single-parent households, with respect to their psychosexual development and their emotions, behaviour and relationships.

Systematic standardized interviews with the mothers and with the children, together with parent and teacher questionnaires, were used to make the psychosexual and psychiatric appraisal. The two groups did not differ in terms of their gender identity, sex role behaviour or sexual orientation.

Also, they did not differ on most measures of emotions, behaviour and relationships—although there was some indication of more frequent psychiatric problems in the single-parent group. It was concluded that rearing in a lesbian household per se did not lead to atypical psychosexual development or constitute a psychiatric risk factor.

Findings from a longitudinal study of lesbian families. Developmental Psychology , 32 1 , Findings are presented of a longitudinal study of the sexual orientation of adults who had been raised as children in lesbian families. Twenty-five children of lesbian mothers and a control group of 21 children of heterosexual single mothers were first seen at age 9.

Although those from lesbian families were more likely to explore same-sex relationships, particularly if their childhood family environment was characterized by an openness and acceptance of lesbian and gay relationships, the large majority of children who grew up in lesbian families identified as heterosexual.

Children raised in fatherless families from infancy: family relationships and the socioemotional development of children of lesbian and single heterosexual mothers. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38 7 , The aim of the study was to investigate family functioning and the psychological development of children raised in fatherless families from their first year of life.

Thirty lesbian mother families and 42 families headed by a single heterosexual mother were compared with 41 two-parent heterosexual families using standardised interview and questionnaire measures of the quality of parenting and the socioemotional development of the child. The results show that children raised in fatherless families from infancy experienced greater warmth and interaction with their mother, and were more securely attached to her, although they perceived themselves to be less cognitively and physically competent than their peers from father-present families.

No differences were identified between families headed by lesbian and single heterosexual mothers, except for greater mother-child interaction in lesbian mother families. Visit Source Website Gottman, J. Children of gay and lesbian parents. The purpose of this chapter is to review research literature concerning children of gay and lesbian parents. The review includes studies that compared children of lesbian mothers to children of heterosexual mothers on gender identity, gender role, sexual orientation, and varying aspects of psychological health and adjustment.

Experiences and perceptions of children of gay fathers are also reviewed. Clinical and legal implications were drawn, and suggestions for future research were made. Visit Source Website Green, R. Lesbian mothers and their children: a comparison with solo parent heterosexual mothers and their children. Archives of Sexual Behavior , 15 2 , Two types of single-parent households and their effects on children ages years were compared.

One type comprised 50 homosexual mothers and their 56 children, and the other was a group of 40 heterosexual mothers and their 48 children. There were 30 daughters and 26 sons of homosexual mothers and 28 daughters and 20 sons of heterosexual mothers. The sexual identity and social relationships of the children were assessed in relation to the sexual orientation of the mothers. The samples consisted of families from rural and urban areas in 10 American states.

All have lived without adult males 18 years or older in the household for a minimum of 2 years average 4. Families with heterosexual mothers were matched to families with homosexual mothers on age and race of mother; length of mother and child separation from father; educational level and income of mother; and number, age, and sex of children.

No significant differences were found between the two types of households for boys and few significant differences for girls. Concerns that being raised by a homosexual mother might produce sexual identity conflict and peer group stigmatization were not supported by the research findings. Data also revealed more similarities than differences in parenting experiences, marital history, and present living situations of the two groups of mothers. The postulated compromised parental fitness of lesbian mothers, commonly asserted in child custody cases, is not supported by these data.

Visit Source Website Harris, M. Gay and lesbian parents. Journal of Homosexuality, 12 2 , Both sets of parents reported relatively few serious problems and generally positive relationships with their children, with only a minority encouraging sex-typed toys, activities, and playmates.

Heterosexual parents made a greater effort to provide an opposite-sex role model for their children, but no other differences in their parenting behaviors were found. Gay and lesbian parents saw a number of benefits and relatively few problems for their children as a result of their homosexuality, with lesbians perceiving greater benefits than gay men.

Conversely, the gay males reported greater satisfaction with their first child, fewer disagreements with their partners over discipline, and a greater tendency to encourage play with sex-typed toys than did the lesbians. Visit Source Website Hoeffer, B. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry , 51 3 , — More striking than any differences were the similarities between the two groups of children on acquisition of sex-role behavior and between the two groups of mothers on encouragement of sex-role behavior.

Visit Source Website Huggins, S. A comparative study of self-esteem of adolescent children of divorced lesbian mothers and divorced heterosexual mothers. Journal of Homosexuality, 18 , Findings of the analysis of the self-esteem scores indicated there was no significant statistical differences in the self-esteem scores between adolescents with divorced lesbian mothers and adolescents with divorced heterosexual mothers.

Visit Source Website Kirkpatrick, M. Lesbian mothers and their children: a comparative survey. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 51 3 , Gender development of the children was not identifiably different in the two groups. Case material is used to illustrate the variety and complexity of the issues involved. Visit Source Website Lamb, M. Applied Developmental Science, 16 2 , The burgeoning empirical literature exploring the factors accounting for individual differences in psychological adjustment is reviewed.

Many studies have shown that adjustment is largely affected by differences in the quality of parenting and parent—child relationships, the quality of the relationships between the parents, and the richness of the economic and social resources available to the family; more recent research signals the importance of congenital differences as well.

Visit Source Website Lavner, J. Can gay and lesbian parents promote healthy development in high-risk children adopted from foster care? American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82 4 , Adoption is known to promote cognitive and emotional development in children from foster care, but policy debates remain regarding whether children adopted by gay and lesbian parents can achieve these positive outcomes. This study compared the cognitive development and behavior problems at 2, 12, and 24 months post placement of 82 high-risk children adopted from foster care in heterosexual and gay or lesbian households.

On average, children in both household types showed significant gains in cognitive development and maintained similar levels of behavior problems over time, despite gay and lesbian parents raising children with higher levels of biological and environmental risks prior to adoptive placement.

Results demonstrated that high-risk children show similar patterns of development over time in heterosexual and gay and lesbian adoptive households. Visit Source Website Leddy, A. Growing up in a lesbian family: the life experiences of the adult daughters and sons of lesbian mothers. This qualitative study aims to explore the experience of being raised in a lesbian home from the perspective of the daughters and sons of lesbian families. Findings indicate that offspring of lesbian families value an environment of acceptance and love fostered within their immediate family, as well as a strong sense of community among other lesbian families.

Many individuals in this study expressed their belief that heterosexism is ingrained into the politics and social constructs of society as a whole. However, participants also noted their opinion that homophobic discrimination happens in varying degrees based on regional, religious, and cultural differences.

A range of coping mechanisms were employed, including confrontation, secrecy, and seeking outside support. Visit Source Website Lewis, K. Children of lesbians: Their point of view. Social Work, 25 3 , The author interviewed twenty one children-ranging in age from 9 to 26, from eight families-whose mothers were lesbians. The author suggests areas for further research on lesbian mothers and their children. Visit Source Website Lick, D.

Recalled social experiences and current psychological adjustment among adults reared by gay and lesbian parents. Children of gay and lesbian parents are a diverse group, but existing studies offer limited information about individual differences in their social experiences and subsequent psychological outcomes. In this study, 91 adults reared by gay and lesbian parents responded to measures of recalled social experiences as well as current depressive symptoms, positive and negative affect, and life satisfaction.

Participants reported differing social experiences e. Despite such diverse experiences, participants reported no significant differences in long-term psychological adjustment. It could be the case that children of gay and lesbian parents learn to cope with difficult social experiences, leading to positive adjustment overall.

Indeed, the current sample perceived their social experiences as becoming significantly more positive over the life course, with less stigma and more benefits related to their family situation during adulthood than during earlier developmental periods. Future studies of adaptive coping processes and longitudinal changes in social experiences among offspring of gay and lesbian parents are warranted.

Children raised in fatherless families from infancy: a follow-up of children of lesbian and single heterosexual mothers at early adolescence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45 8 , Background: An increasing number of lesbian women and single heterosexual women are bringing up children with no male involvement. This study follows up to adolescence a sample of children raised in fatherless families from birth or early infancy.

Methods: Twenty-five lesbian mother families and 38 families headed by a single heterosexual mother were compared with 38 two-parent heterosexual families. The quality of parenting by the mother, and the social and emotional development of the child, were assessed using standardised interview and questionnaire measures administered to mothers, children and teachers.

Results: Children in fatherless families experienced more interaction with their mother, and perceived her as more available and dependable than their peers from father-present homes. However, there were no group differences in maternal warmth towards the children. Mothers raising their child without a father reported more severe disputes with their child than did mothers in father-present families. No major differences in parenting or child development were identified between families headed by lesbian and single heterosexual mothers.

However, being without a resident father from infancy does not seem to have negative consequences for children. In addition, there is no evidence that the sexual orientation of the mother influences parent-child interaction or the socioemotional development of the child.

Visit Source Website Miller, J. Journal of Homosexuality, 7 1 , Much research on the lesbian experience has focused on assessing differences between lesbian and heterosexual adults. Less effort has been expended in analyzing the home environment of the child in a lesbian household.

Results reveal a less affluent socioeconomic setting for the children of lesbian mothers. A strong child-development orientation was found among lesbian mothers, undermining the stereotype of lesbians as aloof from children. Visit Source Website Patterson, C. The 26 participating families were headed by lesbian couples, each of whom had at least 1 child between 4 and 9 years of age.

Although both parents reported sharing household tasks and decision making equally, biological mothers reported greater involvement in child care, and nonbiological mothers reported spending longer hours in paid employment. Parents were more satisfied and children were more well-adjusted when labor involved in child care was more evenly distributed between the parents. Families of the Lesbian baby boom: Maternal mental health and child adjustment. Results showed that maternal reports of both self-esteem and psychological symptoms were within the normal range.

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 68 3 , Children were more likely to have regular contact with relatives of the biological than nonbiological mother. Mothers rated those in regular contact with grandparents as having fewer behavior problems, and those in more regular contact with unrelated adults rated themselves more positively on general well-being.

Visit Source Website Pawelski, J. The effects of marriage, civil union, and domestic partnerships laws on the health and well-being of children. In , the American Academy of Pediatrics AAP Board of Directors commissioned the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, the Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption, and Dependent Care, the Committee on Adolescence, the Committee on State Government Affairs, the Committee on Federal Government Affairs, and the Section on Adoption and Foster Care to develop an analysis examining the effects of marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership statutes and amendments on the legal, financial, and psychosocial health and well-being of children whose parents are gay or lesbian.

Together with this philosophy, contributors recognized the reality that our gay and lesbian patients grow up to be gay and lesbian adults.

Because many pediatricians are fortunate to care for 2 or more generations of a family, we are likely to encounter and remain involved with our patients, regardless of sexual orientation, as they mature and mark the milestones of establishing a committed partnership with another adult, deciding to raise a family, and entrusting the health and well-being of their own children to us.

This analysis explores the unique and complex challenges that same-gender couples and their children face as a result of public policy that excludes them from civil marriage. In compiling this report it became clear to the contributing committees and section that the depth and breadth of these challenges are largely unknown to the general public and perhaps even to many pediatricians.

As such, the AAP Board of Directors approved the broad dissemination of this analysis to assist pediatricians with addressing the complex issues related to same-gender couples and their children. Visit Source Website Perrin, E. Technical report: coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents. Pediatrics, 2 , Visit Source Website Perry, B.

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 74 4 , This study compared the play narratives of children in 38 lesbian-mother families; 73 two-parent, heterosexual-mother families; and 58 single-heterosexual-mother families recruited from a general population sample.

Findings indicated positive mother—child relationships and well-adjusted children. Visit Source Website Potter, D. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74 3 , — Children in traditional families i. An exception to this pattern appears to be children from same-sex parent families. Children with lesbian mothers or gay fathers do not exhibit the poorer outcomes typically associated with nontraditional families. The results indicated that children in same-sex parent families scored lower than their peers in married, 2-biological parent households, but the difference was nonsignificant net of family transitions.

Visit Source Website Rosenfeld, M. Nontraditional families and childhood progress through school. Demography, 47 3 , I use U. The results show that children of same-sex couples are as likely to make normal progress through school as the children of most other family structures.

Heterosexual married couples are the family type whose children have the lowest rates of grade retention, but the advantage of heterosexual married couples is mostly due to their higher socioeconomic status.

Children of all family types including children of same-sex couples are far more likely to make normal progress through school than are children living in group quarters such as orphanages and shelters. Visit Source Website Ryan, S. Parent-child interaction styles between gay and lesbian parents and their adopted children.

While myths exist that call into question the parenting ability of gay and lesbian parents as well as the impact of such parenting on children in their care, there is an ever increasing body of literature that clearly demonstrates the capabilities of these parents with their birth children.

However, there continues to be a dearth of research on gay and lesbian adoptive parents and their children. Results illustrate that the gay and lesbian adoptive parents in this sample fell into the desirable range of the parenting scale and their children have strength levels equal to or exceeding the scale norms. Recommendations for practice, policy and future research are highlighted. Visit Source Website Shechner, T. Although Israel is considered an industrialized westernized country, centrality of the traditional nuclear family predominates this country.

Methods: This factorial design study included four family types: lesbian and heterosexual mothers, each in both single and coupled parenthood. Results: Children from single parent as opposed to two-parent families exhibited more externalizing behaviour problems and aggressiveness. Children of lesbian mothers reported more prosocial behaviours and less loneliness than children from heterosexual families.

No differences emerged for perceived self-competence across family types. Visit Source Website Stacey, J. How does the sexual orientation of parents matter? American Sociological Review, 66 2 , Opponents of lesbian and gay parental rights claim that children with lesbigay parents are at higher risk for a variety of negative outcomes. Yet most research in psychology concludes that there are no differences in developmental outcomes between children raised by lesbigay parents and those raised by heterosexual parents.

The analysis here challenges this defensive conceptual framework and analyzes how heterosexism has hampered intellectual progress in the field. The authors discuss limitations in the definitions, samples, and analyses of the studies to date.

A less defensive, more sociologically informed analytic framework is proposed for investigating these issues. Visit Source Website Tasker, F. Lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children: a review. There is a variety of families headed by a lesbian or gay male parent or same-sex couple. Findings from research suggest that children with lesbian or gay parents are comparable with children with heterosexual parents on key psychosocial developmental outcomes.

The authors of studies and reviews on same-sex parent families agree that this is an important family context within the American landscape and further research on the well-being of children who live with same-sex parents is warranted. We need to continue to pursue multiple methodological strategies to best understand child well-being. One promising strategy is for new data collections to include over samples of LBGT respondents to ensure large samples of children raised in same-sex parent families.

It is important that data collections keep pace with the full range of experiences of children in American families. Additional support was provided by the American Sociological Assosication. If they selected either of the first two, they were asked about whether they had ever lived with that parent while they were in a same-sex romantic relationship.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Popul Res Policy Rev. Author manuscript; available in PMC Aug 1. Wendy D. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Email: ude. Copyright notice.

See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Summary To date, the consensus in the social science literature is clear: in the United States, children living with two same-sex parents fare, as well as children residing with two different-sex parents.

Review This assessment of the literature is based on the social science research on child well-being in same-sex parent families over the last decade published work since Data Sources Table 1 provides a list of the studies used in the review of the literature as well as the update , and are organized alphabetically.

Table 1 Description of studies on child well-being in same-sex parent families and data used. National Survey of Family Growth a Gartrell et al.

National Survey of Family Growth a Goldberg et al. Open in a separate window. Academic Performance and Cognitive Development The academic performance of children raised by same-sex parents is similar to that of children raised by different-sex parents. Social Development The social development of children raised by same-sex parents is similar to that of children raised by different-sex parents.

Psychological Well-Being In terms of psychological well-being, findings from nationally representative data indicate that adolescents in female, same-sex and different-sex couple families report similar scores on depressive symptoms and self-esteem Wainright et al. Sexual Activity Based on evidence from nationally representative data, similar proportions of teenagers from female, same-sex couple and different-sex couple families have had a romantic relationship and sexual intercourse Patterson and Wainright Problem Behaviors Wainright and Patterson find that in a nationally representative sample, adolescents living with female, same-sex parents fare similarly to their counterparts raised in different-sex parent families in terms of frequency of substance use tobacco, alcohol, marijuana , problems with substance use, and delinquent behavior.

Differentials in Child Well-Being in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families Even though a handful of studies does indicate that children fare worse on a few measures of child well-being Allen et al.

Next Steps in the Study of Same-Sex Parent Families The field of research on child well-being in same-sex and different-sex parent families is expanding with significant advances. Update Since the preparation of the amicus curiae brief for the ASA, there have been several newly published U. Conclusion This review outlines the findings and critiques of the literature on child well-being in same-sex parent families.

Footnotes 1 Rosenfeld further reports similar findings are observed when drawing similar sized samples of different-sex couples as well as employing propensity score matching. Nontraditional families and childhood progress through school: A comment on Rosenfeld. Adoption Quarterly. International handbook on the demography of sexuality. Springer; Dordrecht: Same-sex families. The wiley-blackwell companion to the sociology of families.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. Journal of Marriage and Family. How does the gender of parents matter? Ideal families and social science ideals. Family Process. Adolescents of the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: The impact of having a known or an unknown donor on the stability of psychological adjustment.

Human Reproduction. Journal of Lesbian Studies. Children in planned lesbian families: A cross-cultural comparison between the United States and the Netherlands.

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Adolescents of the U. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Male role models, gender role traits, and psychological adjustment. Lesbian families and family functioning: An overview. Patient Education and Counseling. Population Research and Policy Review. Perry Kristin M.

Marriage and child well-being: Research and policy perspectives. Journal of Family Psychology. The family and gay men and lesbians. In: Baumle AK, editor. A comparative analysis of adoptive family functioning with gay, lesbian, and heterosexual parents and their children. Parenting and child development in adoptive families: Does parental sexual orientation matter?

Applied Developmental Science. Transracial adoption by lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples: Who completes transracial adoptions and with what results? Child Development. Parent practices and home-school partnerships: A differential effect for children with same-sex coupled parents? Contact with grandparents among children conceived via donor insemination by lesbian and heterosexual mothers.

Lesbian mothers and their children: Findings from the contemporary families study. Sexual orientation and mental health: Examining identity and development in lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.

American Psychological Association; Washington: Individual differences in gender development: Associations with parental sexual orientation, attitudes, and division of labor.

Sex Roles. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and sexual risk exposure. Archives of Sexual Behavior. New trends in same-sex sexual contact for American adolescents?

Family characteristics, custody arrangements, and adolescent psychological well-being after lesbian mothers break up. Family Relations. Adolescents with lesbian mothers describe their own lives. Journal of Homosexuality. The National Lesbian Family Study: 4. Interviews with the year-old children. Family formation and raising children among same-sex couples.

Special Report: 3. Goldberg AE. How does it make a difference? Perspectives of adults with lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. Talking about family: Disclosure practices of adults raised by lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. Journal of Family Issues. Journal of Health Psychology. Gender-typed play behavior in early childhood: Adopted children with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents. Predictors of psychological adjustment in early placed adopted children with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents.

Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice. The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: building a foundation for better understanding.

National Academies Press. Retrieved January 10, www. Can gay and lesbian parents promote healthy development in high-risk children adopted from foster care? Children and Youth Services Review. Recalled social experiences and current psychological adjustment among adults reared by gay and lesbian parents. Social Science Research. The Future of Children. LGBT sexuality and families at the start of the twenty-first century.

Annual Review of Sociology. Jul , Retrieved January 8, Journal of Family Research. In: Brodzinsky David M. Adoption by lesbians and gay men: A new dimension in family diversity. Oxford University Press; New York: Are children of parents who had same-sex relationships disadvantaged? A scientific evaluation of the no-differences hypothesis.

Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health. How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the new family structures study. Parental same-sex relationships, family instability, and subsequent life outcomes for adult children: Answering critics of the new family structures study with additional analyses.

Nontraditional families and childhood progress through school. Reply to Allen. The use of representative data sets to study LGBT-parent families: Challenges, advantages, and opportunities. LGBT-parent families. Springer; New York: Parent-child interaction styles between gay and lesbian parents and their adopted children. How lesbian and heterosexual parents convey attitudes about gender to their children: The role of gendered environments.

Behavioral adjustment of adopted Chinese girls in single-mother, lesbian-couple, and heterosexual-couple households. Predictors of parenting stress among gay adoptive fathers in the United States. Stigmatization associated with growing up in a lesbian-parented family: What do adolescents experience and how do they deal with it?

Quality of life of adolescents raised from birth by lesbian mothers: The US National longitudinal family study. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Delinquency, victimization, and substance use among adolescents with female same-sex parents.

Peer relations among adolescents with female same-sex parents. Developmental Psychology. Psychosocial adjustment, school outcomes, and romantic relationships of adolescents with same-sex parents. Growing up in a same sex parented family: The adolescent voice of experience. Support Center Support Center. External link. Please review our privacy policy.

Allen et al. Public-use microdata sample of the decennial census a. Averett et al. Florida adoption project b. Bos and Gartrell National lesbian longitudinal family study b. Parenting in planned lesbian families b. Bos et al. Erich et al. Network of gay and lesbian adoptive parents b.

Farr et al. Mid-Atlantic adoptive families sample b. Farr and Patterson Adoptive families sample b. Fedewa and Clark Fulcher et al. Contemporary families study b. Families sample in the Mid-Atlantic United States b. Gartrell and Bos Gartrell et al. National Survey of Family Growth a. Goldberg a. Semi-structured children of LGB parents sample b. Goldberg b. Couples experiencing the transition to adoptive parenthood b.

Adoptive parents sample b. Goldberg and Smith Longitudinal study of the transition to adoptive parenthood b. Joos and Broad Kosciw and Diaz National sample of LGBT parents b. Sample of secondary school students with LGBT parent b. Lavner et al. Leung et al. Three samples of adoptive parents b. Lick et al. Adult children of LGB parents b. Patterson and Wainright National longitudinal study of adolescent health a. Potter Regnerus a. New family structures study a.

Regnerus b. Rosenfeld