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Same sex parenting and family life

 

Parenting by openly gay couples is still a new phenomena. Because society as a whole has yet to catch up with the trend, you may encounter suspicion or even hostility if you’re parenting with a same-sex partner. You’re in a unique position to show, through your own example, that gay parents can make good parents and that gay families can be happy families.

Perhaps you’ve wondered yourself whether you and your same-sex partner are depriving your child of an essential ingredient available only to children of “straight” parents. You can lay your mind to rest: all the research to date suggests that the children of gay parents are at no significant disadvantage. Key findings include the following:

  • Good parenting does not depend on sexual orientation; rather, it depends on a parent’s ability to create a loving and nurturing home, something both gay and straight parents can do.
  • Home environments with gay parents are as effective in fostering a child’s development as those with heterosexual parents; the children of gay parents grow up as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as the children of straight parents.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that children of gay parents are less intelligent, less popular or more likely to have problems than children of straight parents.
  • Children of gay parents are no more likely to become gay (or straight) than other children.

In a recent report reviewing the literature on gay parenting, the American Psychological Association observed that “not a single study has found children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any significant effect relative to children of heterosexual parents.”

If you encounter suspicion or overt disapproval, avoid getting caught up in long-winded arguments. You stand a better chance of making your case by showing than by telling: it’s only by seeing for themselves that most people change their views. If you give people the opportunity to see your family life in action, there’s a good chance their preconceptions will melt away in time.

You may find Gay Parent Magazine to be a useful resource as you proceed in your journey as a gay parent.