Researchers at the University of Virginia and George Washington University published the results of a study showing that the adjustment of adopted children of Lesbians and Gay males is not only on par, but slightly better, than for children of Heterosexual parents. Five adoption agencies, including the IAC, recruited families to participate in the study.
The study, published in July 2010 in Psychology Press, is significant for several reasons. First, it includes outcomes for children of Gay male couples, which is a gap in the research that has previously focused on children of Lesbian and Heterosexual couples. Second, it used reports of the child’s adjustment from caregivers and teachers as well as parents, which provides greater validity to the results.
Unfortunately, there was no way to have a truly random sample. In addition, the children were a median age of only three years. A longitudinal study would provide a much richer look at the development process over time.
The most significant outcome is that well-adjusted children are the result of good parenting and other healthy family processes, and the sexual orientation of the parents is not a factor in this outcome. As Farr, Forssell, and Patterson state, “Regardless of parental sexual orientation, parents who reported less parenting-related stress, use of more effective disciplinary techniques, and greater happiness in their couple relationships had children who were described as ‘well-adjusted’.”
This study confirms other research on this topic, including the longitudinal study of children of Lesbian parents released in June of this year. See my blog post on this at: http://adoptionhelp.org/blog/2010/children-raised-by-lesbian-parents-have-excellent-outcomes/