Lesbian and Gay Families with Children: Implications of Social Science Research for Policy
ABSTRACT In this paper, we provide an overview of variability across jurisdictions in family law relevant to lesbian and gay parents and their children, showing that some courts have been negatively disposed to these families. We summarize recent research findings suggesting that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as are heterosexual parents to provide home environments that support positive outcomes among children. Research findings suggest that unless and until the weight of evidence can be shown to have shifted, parental sexual orientation should be considered irrelevant to disputes involving child custody, visitation, foster care, and adoption.
Article: Politicized Science[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Publication of the study, How Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study (Regnerus, 2012), caused a firestorm in the scientific community. Unlike previous studies, it found differences between the children raised by parents who had experienced a same-sex relationship as compared to those raised by heterosexual parents. Most would acknowledge that policy-relevant social science is seldom value free and frequently gets politicized, but the Regnerus controversy illustrates that it is value dependent, with scientist deeply embedded in its politicization. The kind if science that gets conducted, how findings are interpreted and received, and the degree of critical scrutiny such studies receive is dependent upon scientists’ sociopolitical views. Making every effort to apply the same standards when scrutinizing studies that provide politically palatable results as those that do not, and promoting rather than discouraging ideological diversity among researchers and their funders, are the best way to ensure value-pluralism and the integrity of science in the oft-politicized field of social science.Society 10/2013; 50(5):439-446. DOI:10.1007/s12115-013-9686-5 · 0.26 Impact Factor
Article: Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to review the research literature concerning the development of children with gay and lesbian parents. It begins by discussing some of the social, theoretical, and legal implications of studying this population, and critiques a number of the assumptions guiding this research. The review then proceeds to include studies on children of divorced lesbian and gay parents, as well as studies conducted on children of gay and lesbian families that are planned. The body of literature generally concludes that children with lesbian and gay parents are developing psychologically, intellectually, behaviorally, and emotionally in positive directions, and that the sexual orientation of parents is not an effective or important predictor of successful child development. The paper also includes a discussion of the limitations of these studies, provides suggestions for future research, and discusses the challenge these families pose for the meaning and definition of family.Marriage & Family Review 10/2008; 29(1):57-75. DOI:10.1300/J002v29n01_05
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ABSTRACT: A nationwide survey of adoption agencies was conducted to examine their policies, practices, and attitudes with regard to lesbian and gay prospective adoptive parents. A total of 214 questionnaires were received, representing a return rate of 26 percent. Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated that their agency accepted applications from lesbian and gay individuals, and nearly 38 percent indicated that their agency had made at least one adoption placement with a lesbian or gay adult during the two-year period under study. Attitudes and practices regarding adoption by lesbian and gay individuals varied as a function of the religious affiliation (if any) of the agency, the type of children the agency predominantly placed for adoption, and the gender of the respondent. Overall, the results reveal that, while policies, practices, and attitudes vary across agencies, many adoption professionals are willing to work with lesbian and gay prospective parents, and, in fact, a substantial number have experience in doing so.Adoption Quarterly 10/2008; 5(3):5-23. DOI:10.1300/J145v05n03_02