Psychology, Law, and Same-Sex Parenting

There seem to be few debates more hotly argued these days than whether same-sex couples should be allowed to raise children.   Whether involving foster care or formal adoption,  people opposing lesbians, gays, and transsexuals raising children often invoke religious or legal arguments highlighting many of the misconceptions that still surround the issue of same-sex parenting.

A recent article published in Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity provides an overview of the current status of same-sex parenting across the United States.  Written by Charlotte J. Patterson of the University of Virginia,  the article is based on a presentation she made at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Psychological Association when she received the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy. 

  In her article, Dr. Patterson drew a distinction between families in which children were either born or adopted into a heterosexual marriage that later dissolved when one or both children came out as gay or lesbian and families in which the children were born or adopted by parents who openly acknowledged their sexual orientation.   For both types of families, children’s needs can be very different depending on how they became part of the same-sex family.   To read more, check out my new Psychology Today post.            

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