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Gay Dads - Good Fathers

05 May 2016

According to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids of gay dads are just as well-adjusted as kids of straight parents, despite unique challenges faced by same-sex parents and their children.

"Experiences of Children with Gay Fathers" measured the responses of 732 gay fathers in 47 U.S. states, via an online survey. When asked if their child is unhappy or depressed, 88 percent answered "not true," compared to 87 percent of a CDC study used as a comparative sample.

Other findings include:

  • 72 percent of participants responded that their child does not "worry a lot," compared with 75 percent of the general population.
  • 36 percent of their children had been born in the context of a heterosexual relationship, 38 percent by adopting or fostering children, and 14 percent with the assistance of a surrogate carrier.
  • Many of the fathers described having encountered barriers to sharing custody of their children (33 percent), to adopt a child (41 percent) or to become a father through a surrogate carrier (18 percent).
  • 20 to 30 percent of respondents reported stigmatizing experiences because of being a gay father, primarily from family members, friend, and some people in religious contexts.
  • One-third of parents reported that their children had been subjected to teasing, bullying or other stigmatizing experiences by friends.

This survey is in line with another recent study by researchers from Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, the University of Amsterdam, and Columbia University which found that households with same-sex parents show no differences from those with heterosexual parents.

The study found that with regard to spouse or partner relationships, parent-child relationships, or children’s general health, emotional difficulties, coping and learning behavior, there were no differences.

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