Lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people often become parents. Research shows that LGBT people are as capable of being good parents as heterosexual parents and that children who have two loving LGBT parents are as well adjusted as those with two loving heterosexual parents. Research looks at the impact of stigma on families headed by LGBT parents and how children generally learn to cope and become resilient in the process.
MPIPP FACT SHEETS
MPIPP has developed this fact sheet about gay and lesbian parenting. MPIPP fact sheets generally contain key points of representative research that is cited on the second page.
RESEARCH & REPORTS/SURVEYS
Shown here are examples of research and reports or surveys that address parenting by same-sex couples. Generally, the issues addressed in research are about the fitness of lesbians and gays as parents and the impact of their sexual orientation (and any subsequent social stigma) on their children. Second-parent adoption is also discussed in some of the research. The research shown is generally representative of a larger body of peer-reviewed research. Please note that not all individuals or families are affected in the same way. Also, most of the reports shown here also have extensive bibliographical references that can be reviewed for a more complete analysis of this topic.
- AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Technical Report: Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents; Ellen C. Perrin, M.D. and Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. This highly annotated technical report is available online at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/2/341.long
- AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children (American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics: Vol. 118 No. 1 July 2006, pp. 349-364) This analysis of existing studies explores the impact of public policy that excludes families with same-sex parents from civil marriage. Available online at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/1/349.full
- AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATON: Reviews of Empirical Studies Specifically Related to Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children. This review by the APA is available online at: http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx?item=11
- Crowl, A.L., Ahn, S. & Baker, J.A. (2008). A meta-analysis of developmental outcomes for children of same-sex and heterosexual parents. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 4, 386-407. Available online at: http://www.squareonemd.com/pdf/Crowl%20Ahn%20%20Baker%202008%20Same%20Sex%20Parenting%20Meta%20Analysis.pdf
- Farr, R., and Patterson, C. (2013) Co-parenting Among Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Couples: Associations with Adoptive Children’s Outcomes, Child Development, 2013, pages 1-15. Available online at: http://people.virginia.edu/~cjp/articles/fp13b.pdf
- Gartrell, N., Bos, H.W.M., and Goldberg, N., Adolescents of the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Risk Exposure, Archives of Sexual Behavior, (2011) 40: 1199-1209, DOI 10.1007/s 10508-010-9692-2. Available online at:http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10508-010-9692-2.pdf
- Goldberg, A.E., (How) Does it make a Difference? Perspectives of Adults with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Parents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2007, Vol. 77, No. 4, 550-562. Available online at: http://wordpress.clarku.edu/agoldberg/files/2012/03/GOLDBERG-AJO-2007.pdf
- INFOGRAPHIC: % of Same-sex Couples Raising Children in Top Metro Areas (MSAs)from The Williams Institute at UCLA Law. Available online at: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/census-lgbt-demographics-studies/infographic-msas-may-2013/
- Patterson, C., and Schmidt, R., Recalled Social Experiences and Psychological Adjustments of Adults Reared by Gay and Lesbian Parents, Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 9:230-253, 2013, DOI 10.108/1550428X.2013.781907. Available online at: http://people.virginia.edu/~cjp/articles/lps13.pdf
- Stacey, J., & Biblarz, T. (2001) (How) Does the sexual orientation of parents matter. Stacey, J., & Biblarz, T. (2001) American Sociological Review, 66, 159-183. Available for paid download; online reading available at no charge. To access either, go to: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2657413?uid=3739728&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21102551955937
- Tasker, F., & Patterson, C.J. (2007). Research on Gay and Lesbian Parenting: Retrospect and Prospect. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 3 (2/3), 9-34. Free abstract and purchase information available here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15504280802177615#.Udce8ZVsYug
- Wainwright, J.L. & Patterson, C.J. (2008). Peer relationships among adolescents with female same-sex parents. Developmental Psychology, 44, 117-126. Abstract and purchase information available here: http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2007-19851-012&CFID=8615344&CFTOKEN=35996134
- Wainwright, J.L., Russell, S.T. & Patterson, C.J. (2004). Psychological adjustment, school outcomes, and romantic relationships of adolescents with same-sex parents. Child Development, 75, 1886-1898. Available online at: http://dime159.dizinc.com/~uv1258/blog/Matrimonio/archivos/wainright_2004.pdf
- Farr, R. and Patterson, C., Coparenting Among Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Couples: Associations With Adopted Children’s Outcomes, Child Development, Vol. 84, Issue 4, pgs. 1226–1240, July/August 2013. Abstract available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12046/abstract
RESOURCES & ORGANIZATIONS
This list of resources and organizations (in no particular order) is designed to enable our website readers to find other information on the topic being described. Many of the organizations listed here also have resource guides and information available on this topic. MPIPP does not recommend nor endorse organizations by providing helpful links nor can we list programs or projects of political parties. If you are aware of other resources and links that are non-partisan and appropriate, please use the “contact us” page to send the link for consideration.
- Lesbian and Gay Parenting, prepared by the American Psychological Association (APA). A copy of this booklet, including legal organizations and family support organizations, is available online from the APA at: http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx
- An Ally’s Guide to Talking about Adoption by LGBT Parents. This guide provides conversation tools to strengthen support for second-parent adoption. Available online from the Movement Advancement Project at: http://www.lgbtmap.org/allys-guide-talking-about-adoption
- All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt Children. This is a series of publications by the Movement Advancement Project that cover different aspects of children with LGBT parents, ranging from foster parenting to adoption to health care and more. A complete discussion of topics is available online at: http://www.lgbtmap.org/lgbt-families
- COLAGE – Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere. This is a national supportive and nurturing network for people who have a gay, lesbian, or queer parent. See: http://www.colage.org
- Family Equality Council. This is a national organization working to ensure that all families, especially those with LGBT parents, are respected. Be sure to check out their Parent Resources. See: http://www.familyequality.org
- Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). Website: http://www.glad.org
- National Center for Lesbian Rights. Website: http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_overview
- Family Diversity Project. Website: http://familydiv.org
- Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Website: http://www.lambdalegal.org
- American Civil Liberties Union – Gay and Lesbian Rights Project. Website: http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights