From Here to Maternity: A Review of the Research on Lesbian and Gay Families

The Australian journal of social issues (Impact Factor: 0.3). 02/2005; 38(4).


This paper provides an overview of the international psychological and social science research on lesbian and gay parenting and family forms. It asks how this research should be used to inform social and legal policy on same-sex partnership and family recognition, with particular reference to Australian law.

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    • "Stigma towards LGBT parents can marginalise them (Weber 2008), and this highlights further the importance of training health professionals in issues related to sexuality and homophobia and in identifying and confronting personal and institutional bias (Stein & Bonuck 2001). Although recent times have seen an increase in research about LGBT-parented families (Short et al. 2007), Millbank (2003) argues that in the absence of good-quality information , decision makers and policy makers may either ignore the existence of such families, or proceed on the basis of inaccurate or inappropriate assumptions. These concerns are significant for health professionals working in paediatrics ; however, we located only a few studies that focus on LGBT parents' experiences of accessing health services for their children (Perrin & Kulkin 1996; Mikhailovich et al. 2001; McNair et al. 2008; Rawsthorne 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Few studies have examined the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)-parented families in relation to their access to and satisfaction with healthcare services for their children. It is thought that LGBT individuals have experienced negative interactions with the healthcare environment. Aims: To systematically review the literature investigating the experience of LGBT parents seeking health care for their children. Methods: A search of the following databases: Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Embase, Google Scholar, Medline, PsychInfo, Science Direct, Sociological Abstracts, Proquest, Scopus, and Web of Science was conducted. Using the PRISMA flow chart and processes of the United Kingdom Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, we selected and analysed relevant studies. Findings: Four studies that met the inclusion criteria were identified. Studies showed that while the experience of LGBT parents seeking health care was largely positive, strategies need to be implemented to improve the quality of healthcare services for LGBT families and ensure that their needs are met. Discussion: Although many LGBT parents have positive experiences of health care, some still experience discrimination and prejudice. Implications for practice: Specific educational interventions are needed to support LGBT parents seeking health care for their children. Conclusions: Further research is required to explore LGBT-parented families' experiences of healthcare services, and this should include children's experiences.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
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    • "Research shows that same-sex couples and same-sex attracted sole parents form their families in numerous ways. A large number of lesbians and gay men have children from previous heterosexual relationships [4]. As well, many lesbian-couples conceive their children within their relationship using anonymous sperm donors accessed through fertility clinics [4,6,16,17] or a known donor who may or may not become part of their child's life or be known as a father to the child [2,5,18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: While families headed by same-sex couples have achieved greater public visibility in recent years, there are still many challenges for these families in dealing with legal and community contexts that are not supportive of same-sex relationships. The Work, Love, Play study is a large longitudinal study of same-sex parents. It aims to investigate many facets of family life among this sample and examine how they change over time. The study focuses specifically on two key areas missing from the current literature: factors supporting resilience in same-sex parented families; and health and wellbeing outcomes for same-sex couples who undergo separation, including the negotiation of shared parenting arrangements post-separation. The current paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the design and methods of this longitudinal study and discuss its significance. The Work, Love, Play study is a mixed design, three wave, longitudinal cohort study of same-sex attracted parents. The sample includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents in Australia and New Zealand (including single parents within these categories) caring for any children under the age of 18 years. The study will be conducted over six years from 2008 to 2014. Quantitative data are to be collected via three on-line surveys in 2008, 2010 and 2012 from the cohort of parents recruited in Wave1. Qualitative data will be collected via interviews with purposively selected subsamples in 2012 and 2013. Data collection began in 2008 and 355 respondents to Wave One of the study have agreed to participate in future surveys. Work is currently underway to increase this sample size. The methods and survey instruments are described. This study will make an important contribution to the existing research on same-sex parented families. Strengths of the study design include the longitudinal method, which will allow understanding of changes over time within internal family relationships and social supports. Further, the mixed method design enables triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data. A broad recruitment strategy has already enabled a large sample size with the inclusion of both gay men and lesbians.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · BMC Public Health
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    • "There was much focus on child development issues in order to establish, for example that " there are no differences in developmental outcomes between children raised by homosexual parents and those raised by heterosexual parents " (Camilleri & Ryan, 2006, p. 292). To some extent the research question of the impact of being raised by homosexual parents has now been settled enabling researchers to focus on the lived experience of lesbian-parented families, including household arrangements (Dunne, 1998; Rawsthorne, 2008; Tasker & Golombok, 1998), family wellbeing (Dunne, 2000; McNair et al, 2002; Rawsthorne, 2009) and legal status (Millbank, 2002, 2003; Ben-Ari & Livni, 2006). A recent, and very welcome, addition to the Australian literature has focused on lesbian-parented families experiences of service systems such as education and health (Lindsay et al 2006; McNair et al 2008; Perlesz and McNair, 2004; West, 2007). "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2010
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