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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Report on children adopted by gay and lesbian couples

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A new report by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering on children adopted by same-sex partners found that these children have same outcomes as children adopted by heterosexual parents.

"Gay, Lesbian and Heterosexual Adoptive Families: Family relationships, child adjustment and adopters' experiences" studied130 families, 40 2-parent lesbian mother-headed households, 41 2-parent gay father-headed household and 49 2-parent heterosexual couple-headed households. Factors compared across the three households included family relationships, adjustment and both parent and child well-being. Findings showed that families were more similar than different but that gay-headed fathers were less prone to depression, a finding that is welcomed considering that fewer fathers participate in research on adoptive families making the comparison group of fathers in this study an important aspect of this study.

Another interesting finding of the study was the analysis of different "pathways" to adoption among the couples. Perhaps not surprisingly gay fathers reported having the least expectation of becoming parents, while both lesbian mothers and heterosexual couples reported infertility being the reason for choosing to adopt. In addition, only one gay couple reported trying to have children biologically through a surrogate while many lesbian couples and heterosexual couples attempted IVF or other alternative reproductive technologies prior to adopting.

The study may be purchased through the BAAF site.

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