My father asked me how I…being a male…a gay male…was actually going to be able to raise a child with my partner. Ignorance makes me laugh out loud (quite literally) and that was how I began my response. I ended it simply by saying “I can assure you that our child/children will be much more confident and secure than I was in my own childhood”. Of course, how can he have argued that? I find that ignorant people tend to not pick up a book, newspaper, read a study, and find an educated answer on anything they “believe in”. They simply hear or see what they wish. Nevertheless…facts are facts.
There have been countless studies that show children do better when in a loving family. And that the children of stay-at-home parents do better than those of single parents or divorced parents. Studies also show that it is best to have a mother figure and a father figure. However, studies also show that it doesn’t matter if the compassionate and caring “mother figure” is a man or woman, of if the providing and disciplined “father figure” is a woman or man. They simply need the balance.
Most research studies show that children with two moms or two dads fare just as well as children with heterosexual parents. In fact, one comprehensive study of children raised by lesbian mothers/gay fathers concluded that children raised by same-sex parents did not differ from other children in terms of emotional functioning, sexual orientation, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, learning and grade point averages. As a matter of fact, where research differences have been found, they have sometimes favored same-sex parents. For example, adolescents with same-sex parents reported feeling more connected at school. Another study reported that children in gay and lesbian households are more likely to talk about emotionally difficult topics, and they are often more resilient, compassionate and tolerant.
According to a study done by a psycologist at the University of Massachusetts shows that Gay parents “tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents”. Gays and lesbian parents do not become parents by accident….compare that with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals. In my opinion, that translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement.
On the flip side their are views that show findings that support traditional beliefs that children do best in a married (male and female) household, and that even sub-optimal heterosexual rearing — such as single parenthood or being raised with stepparents — is “far better” than being raised by a homosexual. The National Organization for Marriage, an organization in support of traditional marriage, stated that “Two men might each be a good father, but neither can be a mom.” ( they have never met me 🙂 )
Nevertheless, all valid points.
Counter attacks on gay parenting does not change the fact that public support for gay adoption had a 54% approval rating 4 years ago. That number has surely climbed. We can go on and on and on about how different groups agree or disagree with gay people raising a family. I certainly do not have an answer and I personally believe that NO ONE PERSON has an answer since studies on gay parenting is fairly new. All I know is what I believe within me (which will surely transcend to our children).
I’ve wanted children for as long as I could remember. I hope to be a superb parent, as does my partner. We are committed to instilling in our chid all the many things that we lacked while growing up. We’ll give our children all the things every parent wants for their children…Love, a happy home, a sense of security. If our kid wants to toss a baseball around, we are capable of doing just that. If our kid wants to learn how to cook lasagna, we’re capable of providing that. If our child is bullied because he/she has 2 Dads…or because they are a little overweight….or because they aren’t “cool” or “popular”….or because they have a birthmark on their cheek…or because others are jealous of them….or because they are shy…or for any other reasons why they would be bullied JUST like children from heterosexual couples, we’ll deal with it the same way they would.
In my opinion, it all comes down to the love, patience, security, and happy fulfilling memories and moments that you give to your child, which will give them a notch above the rest. After all, despite the lack of agreement/studies and opinons of straight parenting vs. gay parenting…every parent want’s their child to be OK and will provide and do anything to make that happen.