The traditional model of the family with a mother, father and children has been challenged over and over again in the past few decades. Some single women have chosen to have children without having a father around to provide support and assistance. Families that fall victim to divorce often result in children being brought up by a single parent. And then there is the debate with regards to same sex couple bringing up children.
This is a controversial issue with parties both for and against children raised by gay couples. The naysayers are of the opinion that these children are at a disadvantage due to the fact that they do not have a traditional “mother” and “father” role models. Of course the main fear for many conservatives is that a child raised by gay parents will turn out to be gay too. Another concern is labeling and how children will deal with peer bullying or teasing with regards to having gay are lesbian parents will affect the child.
But what does the research say with regards to the well-being of children raised by gay couples. Overwhelming studies have in fact been done into this matter with the majority finding that children of same sex couples are no worse off than children who are raised by different sex couples in the traditional family setting. From the data that has been collected by over 79 studies, a staggering 75 showed results that children were not in any way harmed by having a same sex parent.
However, of the 4 studies that showed results that children were negatively impacted by being raised by same sex parents, there was significant similarity – most children were previously in home with different sex parents before being raised by gay or lesbian parents.
Another conclusion that was reached is that children are negatively impacted by a parent who comes out as gay and either left the family or entered into a same sex relationship. It must however be taken into consideration that children form traditional families where they are placed with different parents (whether of the same sex or not) or where one parent leaves the family or has an affair, will also be negatively impacted by the event.
From the studies that found that there was no negative impact on children who are raised by same sex parents, it is important to note that the actual conclusion was that there is no difference rather than that it is either an advantage or disadvantage for these children. In other words, children raised by gay couples are likely to face the same complexities and stresses as children raised by two differently sexed parents.
It can therefore be concluded that children from same sex parents are generally likely to experience the same challenges and outcomes in education, socialization and other areas as their peers. Children raised by gay couples are simply no better or worse off than other children and in all the studies that were conducted, there is little evidence to support the fears and concerns of those who are against same sex parents raising a child.
What does the scholarly research say about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents?
Major long-term study: Kids with lesbian parents grow up to be happy adults
Children raised by same-sex parents do as well as their peers, study shows
Growing up with gay parents: What is the big deal?*
Yet Another Study Shows That Children of Gay Parents Do Just Fine
Kids Can Thrive with Gay Parents