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Children of gay fathers ‘well adjusted’

Children with gay fathers are just as well adjusted as those with straight parents.

Researchers from Tufts University in Massachusetts conducted an online survey of 732 gay fathers across 47 American states. They asked each father questions about their children’s overall wellbeing as well as their self-esteem, academic achievement and how well they socialised.

Responses from the gay fathers were very similar to responses from an equivalent sample of straight parents. Around 87 per cent of heterosexual parents said their children were not unhappy or depressed whereas among gay parents, 88 per cent took this position. Additionally, 72 per cent of same sex parents claimed their child did not worry a lot, compared to 75 per cent among the general population.

Lead researcher Dr Ellen Perrin said that although “stigma continues to interfere with the efforts of gay men to become parents” her study “underscores the need for social and legal protections for families headed by same-sex parents”. Her findings show that “children of same-sex parents do as well in every way as children whose parents are heterosexual”, she added.

This is not the first study to reach such a conclusion. Last year, academics in Colorado and Oregon found that there was no difference between children of gay parents and those with straight parents in their behaviour or how well they performed at school.

Similarly, last month a study suggested that while lesbian mothers deal with more stress than heterosexual parents, there is no significant difference in their children’s health and emotional wellbeing.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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