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OutComes for Children Raised By Gay Parents Equal to Those Raised by Straight Parents

Friday, February 19, 2010

As I am recovering from shoulder surgery, several of my on-line friends have contributed posts for my blog or allowed me to repost from their blog. This on gay adoption was originally published on Michael-in-Norfolk at Sunday, September 27, 2009.

Michael-in-Norfolk—Coming Out in Mid Life is written by a gay attorney in a committed relationship who came out in mid-life. He was formerly married and is the father of three children.

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This time, the research and evidence disproves the bullshit line heard over and over again that "it takes a mother and a father to raise a child." It may be a convenient line for those who seek to impose their religious views on all, but it's just not true.

First, a new book, Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle has been published and lauded by the American Psychological Association. It’s findings? That the outcomes and well-being of children raised by gay and lesbian parents are no different than those of children raised by heterosexual parents. Here are some highlights from the Windy City News based on an APA press release:

15549-01dgLesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle is the first book-length review and analysis of research on parenting by gay and lesbians and suggests that the outcomes well-being of their children are no different than those raised by heterosexual parents.

Goldberg’s new book is the first full-length analysis of the research on gay parenting, summarizing research data on the subject from the 1970′s to the present day. The research is consistent in suggesting that the outcomes and well-being of children raised by gay and lesbian parents are no different than those of children raised by heterosexual parents.

Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle provides a comprehensive review of recent research in a way that engages the perspectives of both the children and the parents who live in lesbian/gay-parent households. Also included are topics rarely discussed in the research studies to date, such as: divorce/relationship dissolution in lesbian/gay-parent households; the perspectives of non-heterosexual children of lesbian/gay parents.

Similar conclusions were reached by researchers looking at the issue of the fitness of gays as adoptive parents contrasted with straight couples. Again, I suspect that the Christianists will continue their same old lies and try to dupe the ignorant into believing their anti-gay propaganda. Hopefully, judges and child welfare agencies will open their eyes and believe legitimate researches as opposed to those who have no support for their views except bogus “experts” and religious dogma. Here are highlights from Rueters:

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – Gay or straight, the sexual orientation of adoptive parents does not have an impact on the emotional development of their children, according to a new study. But researchers said that if parents were satisfied with the adoption process, had a stable income and functioned well as a family the risk of emotional problems in children were reduced.

“We found that sexual orientation of the adoptive parents was not a significant predictor of emotional problems,” Paige Averett, an assistant professor of social work at East Carolina University, said in a statement.

Averett, Blace Nalavany, also of East Carolina University, and Scott Ryan, dean of the University of Texas School of Social Work, questioned nearly 1,400 couples in the United States, including 155 gay and lesbian parents. They used information from Florida’s public child welfare system and data from gay and lesbian couples throughout the U.S. for the study.

The researchers said the findings, which are reported in the journal Adoption Quarterly, are important because it compared gay and lesbian and heterosexual couples. “There are implications for social work educators, adoption professionals, and policy makers in this and other recent studies,” said Averett. “We must pay attention to the data indicating that gay and lesbian parents are as fit as heterosexual parents to adopt,” Averett added, “because at least 130,000 children are depending on us to act as informed advocates on their behalf.”

I love the fact that the evidence keeps on building that proves the anti-gay histrionics of James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and their faux experts are lies, plain and simple. The religious based bigotry of the Christianist has no place in setting public policy which needs to be based on science and objective fact. If only more of our elected officials would wake up to this fact. Are you listening Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli? I suspect not.

Father’s Day With Two Dads

MSNBC has a nice artilce that will no doubt cause Christianists to foam at the mouth and go into one of their sanctimonious snits. It looks at a gay couple who adopted three brothers who came from a nightmare family situation and who probably would not have been able to have been raised as siblings – assuming they could even be placed for adoption – but for these generous men.

Having had a father who was raised in an orphanage, I am well aware of the emotional cost a child/adult bears if not raised in a loving family situation. Yet, the Christianists would prefer that children be left in orphanages or shuffled from foster home to foster home rather than have children raised by gay and lesbian couples.

To me, this mindset shows that they value their own prejudice more than what is best for children like the boys featured in the story. I would laso note that of the gay adoptive parents that I know, most have adopted children with mutiple problems who would otherwise never have been adopted and some have spent huge amounts of securing proper medical care for their children. Here are some highlights:

But Father’s Day will be a double celebration at their house because the brothers have two daddies — Geoffery and Devin, foster parents for the boys for three years before adopting them. “All we’re trying to do is raise three healthy boys to be participants in society,” said Geoffery, Devin’s partner for a decade.

That’s a modest description for what the county judge who finalized the adoption in December called an act of heroism.

The boys, taken from substance-abusing and incarcerated biological parents, faced long odds against growing up together. Given their treatment by the birth parents, there were far more questions than answers about physical and emotional issues that might arise for them down the road. “You are heroes in our community,”

Judge Mary Yu said, beaming from the bench while the boys frolicked about the courtroom, the whole family decked out in red-and-white Mickey Mouse ski sweaters. “Who’s going to assume the burden of taking care of children like this, children who possibly have been neglected or set aside in some way? … People like you, who step up. Thank you.”

While the adoption was facilitated by the state and lauded by the legal system in Western Washington, it would have been prohibited by law in some other states simply because Devin and Geoffery are gay.

The twins have an array of issues related to their early childhood, including diagnoses of post traumatic stress disorder and probable attention deficit disorder. One was recently diagnosed with a fetal alcohol condition and they expect the other will be as well. “We go to therapy a lot,” Devin said.

While the men prefer to avoid unnecessary conflict with people who reject their lifestyle (they ask doctors, day-care providers and others in advance if they have issues with gay families), they are irritated by the judgment gay parents sometimes face and acknowledge that they try to set a good example that “gay people can do this,” said Devin.

“Where do the (foster) children come from?” Geoffery asked. “They come from dysfunctional, broken, heterosexual families. … If you took all of the children away from gay and lesbian parents in the United States today, what would the foster system look like?”

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However, six states — Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota and Utah — maintain some sort of bans on adoption or foster parenting by gays and lesbians. The restrictions are not based on any data or cases about gay parenting. For instance, the Florida law, passed in 1977, was intended to send a message to gay people that “we’re really tired of you” and “we wish you’d go back into the closet,” its sponsor, state Sen. Curtis Peterson, said at the time.

Anonymous commented…

Hi Michael,

There’s a cute children’s book out called, “One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads” by Johnny Valentine. Do you know it? It’s worth getting.

Keep up the good work!
14 June, 2008



17 Responses to “OutComes for Children Raised By Gay Parents Equal to Those Raised by Straight Parents”

  1. Dee says:

    Of course this propaganda fails to mention that Judge Mary Yu is herself openly gay and an activist. The gay community is all about manipulation of the public.

  2. Loren A. Olson M.D. says:

    But what is your point?

    Martin Luther King was an activist. Ghandi was an activist. Mother Theresa was an activist. Jesus and Mohammed were actists.

    Saying the gay community is “all about manipulation” is a generalization; it paints all individuals within the group with the same brush. It is the basis of all prejudice.

    Being gay does not make someone a bad judge, and I don’t know or care whether Judge Yu is gay or not.

    For those of you who might like to see what kind of person Judge Yu really is, check out what the King County Bar Association has to say about her.

    I could only hope for more judges like her.

    Loren Olson

  3. Not long ago, I did not give plenty of consideration to giving responses on site page articles and have left feedback even much less. Reading via your pleasant content, will aid me to do so sometimes.

  4. jill says:

    I don’t agree

  5. Loren A. Olson M.D. says:

    Jill, There are many, who like you, who don’t agree, but the evidence seems to be on the side of gay parents being as good as parents as their heterosexual counterparts. Can you support your disagreement with some evidence?
    Loren Olson

  6. Mark S. says:

    I think it is still sad how hard it is for a gay couple to adopt.

    They do all of these studies and are so freaked out about a gay couple turning a child gay. I am sorry, but that is just ignorant.

    [Homosexuality] is genetic, it is in your makeup and there is nothing someone can do to change that. People just need to accept that we are all different in one way or another.

    All of these studies keep going on just to prove the same thing but nobody seems to care. It is time for society to drop the stereotype and let gay couples have and raise children along with the rest of society. There are too many young children who are homeless that could easily be put into the loving hands of a gay couple.

  7. Loren A. Olson M.D. says:

    I agree. Sad that so many children who need homes can’t be placed in a loving home.

    If gay people can’t be parents, do they believe that those of us who have biological children — in my case, when I was living life as a heterosexual — should have our children taken away from us? On second thought, there are probably people who do believe they should be taken away!

    National Coming Out Day was this week. One of the best ways for us to change attitudes is for us to come out from behind our masks. One of my staff people today came in and said, “I didn’t know you were gay. My son is gay and he’s really struggling with it.” I referred him to this website, and the YouTube series on “It Gets Better” — a must see if you haven’t — and I offered to take him to coffee.

    She asked what she could do, because she is struggling too. My response was, “Love him. Tell him you’ll always love him no matter what he decides.”

    Loren Olson

  8. i think that once in a while, we should do some social works too because we should help other people _

  9. Loren A. Olson M.D. says:

    I agree. Loren Olson

  10. Thanks a lot for sharing this info in your site wish is great. I hope you keep posting this great info. Once again thanks a lot

  11. Loren A. Olson M.D. says:

    The thanks for this essay goes to Michael in Norfolk. His blog can be found by clicking here.

  12. kb says:

    Please do not be so angry towards Christians. The Bible has all of God’s rules about homosexuality. Christians don’t hate gays.

    Please consider the children who are being adopted here. All of these little children will grow up to be adults one day. Consider the psychological effects on these adolescent girls growing up with out fathers, and boys with out mothers.

    The studies show that the absence of the opposite sex parent has profound effects on their ability to have healthy relationships. Additionally, these children will experience hardship and extra challenge…because we all know it is a much harder and challenged lifestyle to be “gay”. Yes, the children will suffer, it will be harder for them than children from heterosexual parents (not to mention the fact that adopted children will also be dealing with the effects from being adopted).

    I was raised by a gay mother and her partner of 16 years, until they split up. She dated some after the break up, and eventually found another long term partner for 10 years. She has since split up again. My mother is 59 and still gay. I love her very much. My mother has suffered and struggled her whole life. She never had this great peace that comes from the real relationship with God that can only come from loving him so much and following all of his rules.

    He made the rules because we are all his children and he wants to protect us from struggling, pain and hardship. I will summarize that my life growing up with gay parents and before salvation was dark and more difficult than I could write about here. After forming my relationship with God through Jesus Christ, it is full of joy , light and peace…SO much better after figuring out the TRUTH.

    Also, homosexuality is not genetic. There has been no scientific proof of that statement. God made my gay mother with female hormones, breasts and child bearing organs. She is a woman, even though she presents as very masculine. God gave people free will to make their own choices. Just like an alcoholic has the free will to drink or be sober. The choices we make determine the quality of our lives.

    God gives us rules. It is up to us to make the choices.

  13. Loren A. Olson M.D. says:

    KB,

    I am not angry toward Christians. I am a Christian. However, God’s rules are interpreted by some Christian churches differently. My church says that we are commanded to love God and love one another. I do not believe, as you seem to, that there are absolute truths. The Christian church’s rules have not remained constant over time, and are not consistent from one church to another.

    I grew up without a father — you’ll have to read my book to learn more about that — and it is simply not true that being raised by one parent profoundly effects our abilities to form relationships. My ability to establish and maintain loving relationships has in no way been impaired because of that.

    When the Iowa Supreme Court in their unanimous decision said there is no legal basis to discriminate against same sex marriage, the court could find NO evidence presented that children raised by gay and lesbian parents would be negatively impacted by it. Since I was married to a woman and have children of my own, I can tell you that they were much more effected by my divorce than by my being gay. No one these days seems to be attempting to get rid of divorce.

    Although there is no proof (yet) that homosexuality is genetic, there is plenty of evidence that is supportive of that idea, and not much good evidence against it. Some Christians do not like the idea that it might be innate because then it can’t be changed. There is plenty of evidence that suggests that attempts to change sexual orientation is damaging if not dangerous. You mentioned that it is much harder and challenging to be gay. If that is true, and I believe it is, why would any of us have chosen to follow a much more difficult path? We followed it because we knew we could NOT change it. I struggled not to accept it for forty years.

    I regret you mother has not found peace. However, I do not believe that she will find more peace by committing herself to a religious belief that will increase her sense of dissonance, guilt and shame.

    I am gay and I can assure you that I have all the right male body parts. I am a man in every way, just as your mother is still a woman in every way. Neither she nor I are less of a man or woman because we are gay. Accept us as we are.

    Loren Olson

    Incidentally, the UK Courts have ruled that Christian beliefs on sexual ethics may be ‘inimical’ to children, and they implicitly upheld an Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) submission that children risk being ‘infected’ by Christian moral beliefs.

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  16. Loren A. Olson M.D. says:

    Thanks for your support. Come back frequently and send your friends.

  17. family says:

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