A new study published in Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics shows children raised by lesbian mothers have better adjustment than children raised in heterosexual homes. You can download the study at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2009-3153v1.
This study is significant because it shows that children raised with lesbian parents are not at any higher risk for behavior and other problems than children who grow up with heterosexual parents are. In fact, the researchers state, “According to their mothers’ reports, the 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers were rated significantly higher in social, school/academic and total competence and significantly lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than their age-matched counterparts.”
The major limitation of this study, other than the non-random sample, is that the data only comes from parental reports. It would be better if the researchers also had reports from the adolescents themselves and teachers. Nevertheless, the parent report questionnaire used in the study is extremely valid and reliable. Furthermore, the research used a matched group of adolescents raised in heterosexual homes. In other words, this research, which has been peer reviewed, is scientifically valid.
IAC has always supported Gay and Lesbian family adoption. The researchers speculate that the children have good outcomes due to highly involved parents who demonstrate good parenting skills. The IAC has always operated on the belief that good parenting is the key to good outcomes for children, and that any other criteria for adoptive parents is discriminatory, and not in the best interest of the child.
One disturbing finding in the study, however, is that children who experienced homophobic stigmatization due to their parent’s sexual orientation had more problem behaviors than those that were not. This, of course, speaks to the continued need to promote anti-bullying, including anti-homophobia, education in the schools. The researchers also speculated that some parents were able to better prepare their children about how to deflect homophobic remarks.
Overall, the findings of this study are significant showing that children raised in homes with lesbian parents have exceedingly positive outcomes.