Kids raised by LGBTQ+ parents do just as well as those raised by straight couples, according to science

Happy gay parents reading book together with their little daughter at home

Children raised by LGBTQ+ parents thrive just as well, if not better, as those brought up by their heterosexual counterparts, an international study has found.

Analysis looked at 34 global studies between 1989 and 2022 in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. New research was conducted to discover if there were any differences between children raised by LGBTQ+ parents and heterosexual couples.

The study – the first of its kind – looked at a parents’ psychological adjustment, parent-child relationships and children development outcomes.

As well as proving that both scenarios led to a child developing equally well in most cases, the study also found that children – especially very young kids – raised by LGBTQ+ couples were actually better off in some situations than those raised by straight parents.

The report concluded that: “Most of the family outcomes are similar between sexual minority and heterosexual families, and sexual minority families have even better outcomes in some domains.

“The… results suggested that sexual minority families may perform better in children’s psychological adjustment and parent-child relationship than heterosexual families.”

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The research went on to say that there may be less gender stereotyping among children raised in minority parent families compared with heterosexual parent families.

“They [LGBTQ+ parents] have been described as more tolerant of diversity and more nurturing towards younger children than children of heterosexual parents,” researchers added.

“Exploration of gender identity and sexuality may actually enhance children’s ability to succeed and thrive in a range of contexts.”

‘Studies like this are truly welcomed’

Following the outcomes of the study, Tor Docherty, the chief executive of LGBTQ+ adopters charity New Family Social, told PinkNews the findings offered “valuable insight”.

“All studies that support the good parenting LGBTQ+ people offer are truly welcome .We hear from adoption and fostering agencies every day about the unique skills and commitment of our LGBTQ+ members,” she said.

“Our experiences of navigating sexual orientation and gender identity issues give us a valuable insight into the challenges children and young people face. LGBTQ+ people have to understand their value and place in the world in a way that other people don’t.

“That’s a skill you can’t teach. It helps us to support children better, particularly those who are looked-after.”

Damian Kerlin, from Cardiff, who’s the father of twin boys with his partner Andrew, told PinkNews that the findings prove that LGBTQ+ people are just as qualified to take care of children as heterosexuals are.

Damian Kerlin
Damian Kerlin from Cardiff is the parent to twin boys along with his partner Andrew (Supplied).

“I love that this has been done and evidences to those who ever had doubts. The LGBTQ+ community are more than capable of raising children, but I have to say, I find it baffling that it needed evidencing in the first place,” he said.

“There is no such thing any more [as] a traditional family make-up. We live in a world now where difference is beautiful and it should be celebrated – whether that’s two mums, two dads, a single parent, grandparents or carers.

“Family is more than blood, and the LGBTQ+ community knows that more than most. It is love, security and safety, and that we have to offer in abundance.”

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