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A look at same-sex parenting

A study says the children of lesbian couples in Florida and throughout the country are no more likely to have emotional or learning difficulties than the children of opposite-sex couples. The study, which was published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, is the first to match stable same-sex and opposite-sex parents based on factors such as level of education, age of parents and family residence. Past studies that have found poorer outcomes for children of same-sex relationships have failed to compensate for the fact that those studies used families that had upheaval such as foster care and divorce.

The study looked at 95 opposite-sex couples and 95 lesbian couples. It did not use any male couples because it found too few households that it could match up.

The only difference the researchers found was that female same-sex couples felt more parenting stress, but researchers surmised that it could be due to homophobia. Lesbian parents also may feel more pressure to demonstrate that they are good parents due to the cultural conversation around gay and lesbian parenting. Researchers say that further study is needed.

As this study demonstrates, despite the federal legalization of gay marriage, many gay and lesbian couples may still face hurdles when it comes to parenting and other situations. One of those hurdles might be adoption. This may involve both people in a couple wanting to adopt a child or one person who wants to legally adopt the child of the other parent. Issues around adoption for same-sex couples may be complex, and couples may face discrimination. They might want to work with an attorney who has experience with these types of issues.

Source: CNN, "'No difference' between children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents," Nadia Kounang, April 16, 2016

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