American Foundation for Equal Rights

Children of LGBT Parents

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American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Facts for Families: Children with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents (2011): ”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 the quality of the parent/child relationship and not the parent’s sexual orientation that has an effect on a child’s development.”

American Psychological Association, Policy Statement on Sexual Orientation, Parents, and Children (2004): “There is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: Lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.”

American Psychological Association, Lesbian and Gay Parenting (2005): “[T]here is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.”

American Psychoanalytic Association, Position Statement on Gay and Lesbian Parenting: ”Gay and lesbian individuals and couples are capable of meeting the best interest of the child and should be afforded the same rights and should accept the same responsibilities as heterosexual parents.”

Canadian Psychological Association, Position Statement on Marriage of Same-Sex Couples (2006): ”A review of the psychological research into the well-being of children raised by same-sex and opposite-sex parents continues to indicate that there are no reliable differences in their mental health or social adjustment and that lesbian mothers and gay fathers are not less fit as parents than are their heterosexual counterparts.”

Australian Psychological Society: “Studies comparing groups of children raised by homosexual and by heterosexual parents find no developmental differences between the two groups of children in their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, popularity with friends, development of social sex role identity or development of sexual orientation.”

North American Council on Adoptable Children, Position Statement on Gay and Lesbian Adoptions and Foster Care (2005): “NACAC opposes rules and legislation that restrict the consideration of current or prospective foster and adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “gay and lesbian individuals can be successful parents themselves.”

American Medical Association: “Our AMA will support legislative and other efforts to allow the adoption of a child by the same-sex partner, or opposite sex non-married partner, who functions as a second parent or co-parent to that child.”

Timothy J. Biblarz & Judith Stacey, How Does the Gender of Parents Matter?, 72 Journal of Marriage and Family 3, 17 (Feb. 2010): “Current claims that children need both a mother and father are spurious because they attribute to the gender of parents benefits that correlate primarily with the number and marital status of a child’s parents since infancy. At this point no research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being.”

Child Welfare League of America: “… gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents are as well suited to raise children as their heterosexual counterparts.”

James G. Palewski, et al., The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-being of Children, 118 Pediatrics 349 (2006)

  • “[F]ew differences have been found in research conducted over the last 3 decades comparing lesbian and heterosexual mothers’ self-esteem, psychological adjustment, and attitudes toward child rearing.”
  • “Empirical evidence reveals that gay fathers have substantial evidence of nurturance and investment in their paternal role and no differences from heterosexual fathers in providing appropriate recreation or encouraging autonomy. Gay fathers have been described to adhere to strict disciplinary guidelines, to place an emphasis on guidance and the development of cognitive skills, and to be involved in their children’s activities. Overall, there are more similarities than differences in the parenting styles and attitudes of gay and nongay fathers.”
  • “The gender identity of preadolescent children raised by lesbian mothers has been found consistently to be in line with their biological gender. None of >500 children studied have shown evidence of gender-identity confusion, wished to be the other gender, or consistently engaged in cross-gender behavior. No differences have been found in the toy, game, activity, dress, or friendship preferences of boys or girls who had lesbian mothers, compared with those who had heterosexual mothers.”

Mark Regnerus, who claimed to have conducted a study showing that children of gay parents do not fare as well as children with straight parents, now admits that his study was flawed.