Concerns that children adopted by gay and lesbian couples will suffer worse parenting are unfounded, according to new research.
The University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research has studied parenting by same-sex couples, compared to heterosexual partners. The findings are published today in a report by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering and they suggest that gay and lesbian parents are just as good at coping with the demands of parenting.
The report suggests that children with homosexual parents don’t suffer any disadvantage and the vast majority are not bullied due to their non-traditional family. However, the report does state that:
“Bullying and teasing are much more of a problem in secondary schools than primary schools; thus, only follow-up will reveal how things turn out in the future.”
This research examined the lives of 130 gay, lesbian and heterosexual adoptive families in the UK, with children aged four to eight. The study looked at the quality of family relationships, how parents cope and how children adjust.
Despite speculation the Centre for Family Research’s found “there was no evidence” to suggest children’s masculine or feminine tendencies are affected by having gay or lesbian parents. The study also suggests that quality of relationships and family life are very similar, regardless of parents’ sexual orientation.
Professor Susan Golombok, director of the research centre and co-author, said:
“What I don’t like is when people make assumptions that a certain type of family, such as gay fathers, will be bad for children. The anxieties about the potentially negative effects for children of being placed with gay fathers seem to be, from our study, unfounded.”
Photo by JosephB via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence