Gay Couples and Parenting
Same Sex Adoption
“My wife and I both wanted to have children. As a gay couple, our options were limited. She wanted a little girl she could show how to bake her famous chocolate mousse cake. I just wanted a child to love. After a lot of research and tears, we learned about surrogacy. Although it took time, we eventually found the surrogate we needed to have a child of our own.
If you are a gay couple wanting to have children, we recommend surrogacy. This being said, one of our best friends looked into LGBT adoption. He and his husband now have the cutest little boy you can imagine. All I know is having a child changed our lives. We are looking forward to the little things like watching her take her first step, her first birthday and going to school.” This is the story from one of our clients who we have helped to create a family.
Facts about Gay Families
About 4.3 percent of all adults living in the United States are in the LGBTQ community. These individuals have identified as gay, transgender, bisexual or lesbian. According to this percentage, over 10.7 million LGBTQ adults are residing in the United States. Approximately 1.4 million of these individuals identified as transgender and 50 percent of the community as bisexual.
What Does the Family of the Average Gay Couple Look Like?
Just like any other parent, a gay couple can be single, married, divorced, separated or cohabitating. Some families are blended or intact with children living in two separate households. Many LGBTQ couples are able to have a family due to same-sex adoption.
There are fewer marriages taking place in the general population than in the past and the percentages are still decreasing. According to Family Equality Council, the opposite is true for LGBTQ couples since they were granted the right to marry throughout the nation. Almost 1.1 million LGBTQ adults living in the United States have married someone of the same sex. This means there are more than 547,000 married gay couples in the nation.
According to the Gallup Poll conducted in 2015, there were an additional 1.2 million LGBTQ adults in the United States in a committed, unmarried same-sex relationship. Since this poll took place before gay marriages were legal in our country, there is a good possibility some of these couples are now married.
How Many Children have LGBTQ Parents?
There are currently between two and 3.7 million children below the age of 18 living in the United States with a gay parent. Roughly 200,000 of these children are being raised by two parents of the same sex. The chance of these couples having gay kids is no greater than that of a couple consisting of a man and a woman. Many of these kids are being raised by a couple with a bisexual or LGBTQ parent.
What is the Formation of LGBTQ Families?
The social and legal environment surrounding LGBTQ adults directly affects how families are formed. In the past, LGBTQ individuals have not come out until they were older due to a negative climate. This means the majority of children raised in the past by gay couples were conceived in a same-sex relationship. Due to social and legal changes, these statistics are changing.
Both same-sex relationships and LGBTQ individuals have become more acceptable in the United States. These individuals are now coming out at a much younger age. The result is a greater number of LGBTQ couples planning a family through numerous means including adoption, surrogacy, foster care and ART or assisted reproductive technology.
The chance of same-sex couples and LQBTQ adults adopting or fostering a child is greater than with a more traditional couple. Couples of the same sex foster children six times more often with the chance of adoption four times higher.
Of all LGBTQ adults below the age of 50 living with a partner, spouse or alone, 20 percent of the men and 48 percent of the women are raising a child below the age of 18.
Race and Ethnicity and Race
There are certain LGBTQ ethnic minorities and races more likely to have or raise children than others. Over one-third of all LQBTQ couples with kids are ethnic or racial minorities. Roughly 15 percent are Latino and 12 percent African American.
Gay individuals and couples with children have a lower income than traditional couples. Unfortunately, the poverty levels are higher. Almost 24 percent of all kids raised by gay couples are living in poverty. Only 14 percent of different-sex couples with kids live in poverty.
According to Family Equality, research shows the level of education is higher for gay couples. The opposite is true for those with children. Approximately one-third of LGBTQ couples with kids have a college degree.
Growing Up with Gay Parents
There are people still concerned gay parents raising kids will result in social stresses, a requirement for additional emotional support and gay kids. According to the recent research I have read, this is not true. Kids of lesbian and gay parents have the same emotional development as those raised by heterosexual parents. If you are or intend to raise a child as an LQBTQ couple, there are some facts you should know.
First, the development of your child is based on the quality of the parenting you provide and the strength of your relationship, not your sexual orientation. According to AACAP, research has shown many of the common beliefs regarding LGBTQ couples is incorrect including:
• LGBTQ couples are no more likely to have gay kids than heterosexual couples
• There are no differences regarding the gender identity of the children
• The risk of sexual abuse is no greater
• There is no difference in female or male role behaviors
When your child is raised with two dads or two moms, there is no negative impact. No matter what type of family raises a child the most important concept is love. Modern families have become so diverse the children no longer feel left out talks about a boy raised by gay parents who said he is not bullied at school because he is accepted for who he is.
He spoke of LQBTQ rights and understands heterosexual adults have always had the right to marry. His parents taught him the importance of the same rights for LQBTQ adults. The article also talked about a girl raised many years ago. She said she is both surprised and delighted at how much has changed for the better. She talked about all of the kids coming out at a much younger age.
She said it is wonderful to watch these kids starting younger and standing up for not only their families but their beliefs as well. She is aware of the number of cases still in court and believes the new generation can make a profound difference in LGBTQ rights through civil movements. She wants to be a part of everything that is changing.
Popular People Raised by LGBTQ Parents
Every type of family is capable of successfully raising a child. Before LGBTQ pride was ever publically discussed, the future stars of the silver screen were raised by unconventional families. These children were happy as kids and many achieved exceptional success as adults. According to Bright Side, this includes all of the following.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro’s parents divorced when he was very young. Robert De Nero Sr. publicly announced he was gay in 1944. He was an abstract expressionist painter in a relationship with Robert Duncan the poet. He admitted he never played basketball with his son but they developed a strong connection. When Robert De Niro Jr. was older, he filmed an impressive documentary about the life of his dad.
Mandy Moore’s parents were married for nearly 30 years before they divorced. Her mom Stacy Moore-Friedman began a brand new life with Claudette Laliberte the tennis player after her divorce. Mandy supports the lifestyle of her mom 100 percent.
Jay-Z’s mom is Gloria Carter. In 2017, she shared her news with her son and then came out. Not only was he happy for his mom, but he also admitted he cried when he realized she was forced to hide who she was for so long. The song Smile was dedicated to his mom on his 4:44 album which he recorded the day after his mom told him the truth.
Jodie Foster was raised by two moms. She called her mother’s partner Aunt Jo, who came out publicly in 2013 when she made a speech during the Golden Globe Awards.
Ana Matronic is the singer of Scissor Sisters and she was raised by her gay dad. When she was three, her parents broke up and her dad and his boyfriend relocated to San Francisco. She and her sister visited him four times every year when they were kids for an enjoyable stay.
Liza Minelli’s dad was Vincente Minelli. He was an Italian-American film and stage director. According to the biographer Emmanuel Levy, he lived in New York as openly gay. His personal life did not become private until he moved to Hollywood. He had a warm relationship with his daughter for his entire life.
Amy Adams’s family was Mormon and there were seven kids. They left the church and divorced when she was 11. Her mom then moved in with another woman. Her mom is delighted with her career and their relationship is good. Amy frequently invites her mom, sisters and brothers to events including the Oscars.
Kylie and Kendall Jenner
Bruce Jenner is Kylie and Kendall Jenner’s dad. The Olympic decathlete came out publicly in 2015 as Caitlyn Jenner after having a gender transition. Kris and Bruce Jenner divorced in 2013. Both of their daughters accepted the changes their dad made with understanding and love and they still spend time together.
Rene Russo was two years old when her parents divorced. Her mom and her girlfriend raised her and her sister after the divorce. Rene admitted her mom was all but abandoned after she came out. Her gay friends were the only ones available to help her raise her children.
You are most likely familiar with Ally Sheedy due to her starring role in The Breakfast Club. Her mom is Charlotte Sheedy, a literary agent in New York. She raised her after divorcing her father when she came out as a lesbian in 1971.
The Rapper 50 Cent was raised by a lesbian mother. She passed away when he was eight and he was raised by his grandparents. The book he wrote about his relationship with his mom and his childhood is titled Playground.
Jenna Malone is the star of Hunger Games and her childhood was unconventional. Her mom is Debra Malone and she raised her daughter with her girlfriend. According to Jena, having two moms was awesome.
What is LGBT Adoption and are There Specific Resources?
LGBT adoption is when an LGBTQ or gay couple adopt a child. This can be a gay couple, same-sex couple with one already having a child or an adoption by a single LGBTQ adult. You will find there are a lot of lesbian and gay families adopting kids through both intercountry and domestic adoptions. There are special resources these families can use to help them start a family.
According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, there are resources available for members of the LGBTQ family including lesbian, transgender, bisexual and gay families wanting to raise children.
Our Final Word
Same-sex marriages do not have any more disadvantages for children than heterosexual marriages. If you want to raise a family, it has nothing to do with your gender. Due to important legal and social changes, children raised by same-sex couples have all of the same advantages. The most important aspect is to make certain you are in a stable relationship with a lot of love to give to a child.
Whether you choose same sex adoption, surrogacy or any of the other options available, you can raise a happy, successful and well-adjusted child simply by providing a good home, structure and a lot of love. Your sexual orientation is not important. What is important is the way you raise your child.