Child welfare unaffected by lesbian parents, study finds

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The children of lesbian parents have similar levels of well being and child adjustment as those of heterosexual parents, a Dutch study has confirmed.

Researchers from Amsterdam University looked at a hundred heterosexual couples and a hundred lesbian couples with children between the ages of four and eight who had been raised by couple since birth.

While the child’s well being remained identical in lesbian or heterosexual couples, the researchers discovered that several other factors were surprisingly different.

Lesbians recorded a higher level of satisfaction with their partner’s parenting skills than heterosexual mothers.

Lesbians were also found to have a significantly stronger desire to have children than heterosexual couples.

They were also more likely to spend a greater amount of time doing household work and childcare, rather than working outside the home.

Robert-Jay Green, director of the Rockway Institute, a organisation dedicated to LGBT policy, told Science Daily the partners of lesbian biological mothers “are more committed as parents than are heterosexual fathers, that is, they display a higher level of satisfaction with their partner as co-parent and spend more time on child care and less on employment.”

Analysts believe the difference are primarily due to gender, as opposed to sexual orientation.

“These results on lesbian parents pique our curiosity for more data on gay male parents,” Green continued.

“Will gay fathers’ parenting styles turn out to be more like those of heterosexual fathers, heterosexual mothers, or some combination?”

Researchers Henny Bos, Frank van Balen, and Dymphna van den Boom measured child adjustment and parental characteristics by questionnaire, observed the families and had the parents keep a diary of the amount of time they spent childrearing, housekeeping and working outside the home. They published their results in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

“The findings in the Dutch study are identical to those in a very large number of U.S. studies,” Green added.

“Children do well in loving families, regardless of whether there are two mums or a mum and a dad involved.”

Recent studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association all concluded that there were no substantial differences in child adjustment between family types, leading the organisations to release official statements supporting the equal treatment of gay and lesbian families.