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A Review and Critique of Research on Same-Sex Parenting and Adoption

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Abstract

Are the outcomes for children of gay, lesbian, or bisexual parents in general the same as those for heterosexual parents? That controversial question is discussed here in a detailed review of the social science literature in three parts: (1) stability of same-sex parental relationships, (2) child outcomes, and (3) child outcomes in same-sex adoption. Relationship instability appears to be higher among gay and lesbian parent couples and may be a key mediating factor influencing outcomes for children. With respect to part 2, while parental self-reports usually present few significant differences, social desirability or self-presentation bias may be a confounding factor. While some researchers have tended to conclude that there are no differences whatsoever in terms of child outcomes as a function of parental sexual orientation, such conclusions appear premature in the light of more recent data in which some different outcomes have been observed in a few studies. Studies conducted within the past 10 years that compared child outcomes for children of same-sex and heterosexual adoptive parents were reviewed. Numerous methodological limitations were identified that make it very difficult to make an accurate assessment of the effect of parental sexual orientation across adoptive families. Because of sampling limitations, we still know very little about family functioning among same-sex adoptive families with low or moderate incomes, those with several children, or those with older children, including adolescents or how family functioning may change over time. There remains a need for high-quality research on same-sex families, especially families with gay fathers and with lower income.
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... Regarding the knowledge of judgments that surround the social imaginary, supposedly justifying reservations to the so-called "homoparenthood" (Coitinho Filho, 2017;Silva, Sousa, et al., 2017), these perceptions were also found in several studies Gato & Fontaine, 2011;Schumm, 2016;Tombolato et al., 2018;Ximenes & Scorsolini-Comin, 2018). In the bioecological theory, a possible explanation would be that these arguments would derive, at a procedural level, both from relationships established in the context in which people of contrary opinions grew up, were educated, and/or maintain immediate relationships today (microsystem), as well as sociocultural and ideological factors that permeate the construction of senses and meanings in society (macrosystem). ...
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Article
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