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PARENTS
 

Kids Can Thrive with Gay Parents

Children Raised by Same Sex Parents at No Disadvantage

Gays With Kids: Mitch and Jakeís Adoption Journey

Straight or Gay Parents: It Doesn't Matter to Children

Children of Gay Parents Speak for Themselves
Gay Dads Share Personal Stories

 

LGBTQ Parents in the Mainstream

 

These days, gay parents are no novelty.  We see them strolling through our neighborhoods, participating in our PTA meetings, and, perhaps most notably, appearing on our TV screens...  Mitchell and Cam, fathers to Lily, on the ABC TV show Modern FamilyGlee's Sue Sylvester, expectant mom to a baby conceived with an as-yet-unrevealed sperm donor.  Also on Glee, Rachel's dads, played with humor and grace by Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes. In 2011, Annette Benning was nominated for multiple awards, including an Oscar, for her portrayal of a lesbian mother to two teens (and Julianne Moore's better half) in hit indie movie The Kids Are All Right. These Hollywood examples are important in that they've helped present gay parenting as not unlike straight parenting: challenging, joyful, complicated, and most of all, entirely normal.

 

 

Though this media "mainstreamification" of gay parenting is a relatively new phenomenon, for decades, gay parents have had children in all sorts of family configurations, including through adoption, previous heterosexual relationships, or, increasingly, by choosing to have biological offspring using in vitro, surrogate, and other methods. According to the 2010 census, a quarter of same-sex American households are raising children, gaining ground on heterosexual couples, who parent at a rate of just under 50 percent. So, millions of children in the United States today have LGBTQ parents.  And, just as these families have appeared front and center in the opening credits of the American sitcom, so too have they shouldered themselves front and center in the group photo of the real life American family. Turns out "alternative families" aren't so alternative anymore.

 

LGBTQ Parenting

Gay Parent Magazine

In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBTQ Parents

World's Largest Study of LGBTQ Parents

Gay Foster Parents

My Two Mums: Myths of Gay Adoption

 

Two Moms or Two Dads

 

Can LGBTQ parents raise kids?  Sometimes people are concerned that children being raised by a gay parent will need extra emotional support or face unique social stressors. Current research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents in their emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults. It is important for parents to understand that it is the quality of the parent/child relationship and not the parentís sexual orientation that has an effect on a childís development.

 

 

Research has shown that in contrast to common beliefs, children of lesbian, gay, or transgender parents:

--Are not more likely to be gay than children with heterosexual parents.

--Are not more likely to be sexually abused.

--Do not show differences in whether they think of themselves as male or female (gender identity).

--Do not show differences in their male and female behaviors (gender role behavior).

 

Family Equality Council

Rainbow Babies

Me and My Gay Parents

Huff Post: Teased for Having Two Mommies

Unlikely Hero: Father Comes Out to Kids on Father's Day

 

Although research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents are as well adjusted as children with heterosexual parents, they can face some additional challenges. Some LGBTQ families face discrimination in their communities and children may be teased or bullied by peers.

 

Parents can help their children cope with these pressures in the following ways:

--Prepare your child to handle questions and comments about their background or family.

--Allow for open communication and discussions that are appropriate to your childís age and level of maturity.

--Help your child come up with and practice appropriate responses to teasing or mean remarks.

--Use books, Web sites and movies that show children in LGBTQ families.

--Consider having a support network for your child (For example, having your child meet other children with gay parents.)

--Consider living in a community where diversity is more accepted.

 

 

LGBTQ Parents Raising Straight Kids

 

Is there a negative impact of growing up in a home with gay parents? Luckily, this is an area of psychology in which the research is truly conclusive: children have just as much chance to thrive with gay parents as with straight parents. A new study published this fall in the journal Developmental Psychology reaffirms this conclusion, and should serve as reassuring evidence that validates the experience of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian parents raising children in America.

The study followed more than 100 families, all of whom adopted children in infancy from the same set of private agencies in the US. All of the families were two-parent families at the time of the adoption. Approximately half of the families were headed by opposite-sex parents and half were headed by same-sex parents (including both lesbian couples and gay male couples). The groups of straight and gay parents were well-matched to one another on demographic variables including parental age, race, employment status, and highest level of education obtained. All of the couples adopted infants who were not biologically related to either member of the couple.

 


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