Scientific research consistently shows that gay and lesbian parents are as fit and capable parenting adopted children heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as those reared by heterosexual parents. Male same-sex couple with a child.
Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are parents. Census, for example, 33 percent of female same-sex couple households and 22 percent of male same-sex couple households reported at least one child under the age of 18 living in the home. Adoption by same-sex couples is legal in a dozen countries and in some regions of USA, Australia and Mexico. In January 2008, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that same-sex couples have the right to adopt a child. Some gay couples, especially male couples, decide to have a surrogate pregnancy.
A surrogate is a woman carrying an egg fertilised by sperm of one of the men. Some women become surrogates for money, others for humanitarian reasons or both. Parents who use surrogacy services can be stigmatised. Insemination is a method used mostly by lesbian couples.
It is when a partner is fertilised with donor sperm injected through a syringe. Some men donate sperm for humanitarian reasons, others for money or both. Reciprocal IVF is used by couples who both possess female reproductive organs. Using in vitro fertilization, eggs are removed from one partner to be used to make embryos that the other partner will hopefully carry in a successful pregnancy. Currently scientists conduct research on alternative types of human parenthood which can aid same-sex couples to have children. One of the possibilities is obtaining sperm from skin stem cells. According to US Census Snapshot published in December 2007, same-sex couples with children have significantly fewer economic resources and significantly lower rates of home ownership than heterosexual married couples.
In the United States, studies on the effect of gay and lesbian parenting on children were first conducted in the 1970s, and expanded through the 1980s in the context of increasing numbers of gay and lesbian parents seeking legal custody of their biological children. The widespread pattern of children being raised from infancy in two-parent gay or lesbian homes is relatively recent. LGBT parenting population and to cultural and social obstacles to identifying as an LGBT parent. Remarriage identified fourteen studies addressing the effects of LGBT parenting on children.
The review concluded that all of the studies lacked external validity and that therefore: “The conclusion that there are no significant differences in children reared by lesbian mothers versus heterosexual mothers is not supported by the published research data base. Many of these studies suffer from similar limitations and weaknesses, with the main obstacle being the difficulty in acquiring representative, random samples on a virtually invisible population. Many lesbian and gay parents are not open about their sexual orientation due to real fears of discrimination, homophobia, and threats of losing custody of their children. Because of the inevitable use of convenience samples, sample sizes are usually very small and the majority of the research participants end up looking quite homogeneous—e. Another potential factor of importance is the possibility of social desirability bias when research subjects respond in ways that present themselves and their families in the most desirable light possible. Such a phenomenon does seem possible due to the desire of this population to offset and reverse negative images and discrimination.
Consequently, the findings of these studies may be patterned by self-presentation bias. According to a 2001 review of 21 studies by Stacey and Biblarz published in American Sociological Review: “esearchers lack reliable data on the number and location of lesbigay parents with children in the general population, there are no studies of child development based on random, representative samples of such families. In more recent studies, many of these issues have been resolved due to factors such as the changing social climate for LGBT people. The overall methodological sophistication and quality of studies in this domain have increased over the years, as would be expected for any new area of empirical inquiry. More recent research has reported data from probability and community-based convenience samples, has used more rigorous assessment techniques, and has been published in highly respected and widely cited developmental psychology journals, including Child Development and Developmental Psychology.