The Kids Are Alright: 10 Facts About Kids Raised by LGBT Parents

Wendy Robinson | Sep 2, 2016 Big Kid
The Kids Are Alright: 10 Facts About Kids Raised by LGBT Parents

LGBT family

LGBT couples prove time and time again that there are many ways to make a family -- because ultimately, love is love. As the number of children in households headed by an LGBT couple increases, so does the amount of research into how growing up in an LGBT family impacts kids. And it's all great news.

The short and sweet answer is that the kids, by most measures, are alright: loved, healthy, and psychologically healthy. 

The longer answer is that there may be some surprising advantages to growing up in an LGBT family. Let's check out 10 facts that may surprise you about LGBT families and why, at the end of the day, we can be confident that family is family. 

 

 

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  • Well-Adjusted

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    The American Psychological Association reviewed decades of literature related to kids raised by gay and lesbian parents, and it found that the "results of research suggest that the development, adjustment, and well-being of children with lesbian and gay parents do not differ markedly from that of children with heterosexual parents."

    Translation: Kids with gay parents are just as likely to be well-adjusted and hit developmental milestones as those with straight parents. 

  • LGBT Families and Stress

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    Image via iStock.com/Susan Chiang

    Although gay parents might indicate higher levels of stress than heterosexual parents, that stress level doesn't appear to impact the overall physical health and wellness of kids raised by gay parents. Research of female same-sex parents and different-sex parents indicates that there is no difference in terms of learning behavior, general health, and emotional difficulties between kids based on these two family types. 

    (I'm going to go out on a limb and assume kids with gay parents hate shots just as much as kids with straight parents do, though.) 

  • LGBT Families Are More Diverse

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    LGBT families, many of whom are formed via adoption or fostering, are more ethnically diverse than people may realize. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, around 39 percent of people in same-sex relationships identify as non-white. Further, half of their children under the age of 18 are identified as non-white. 

  • More Common Than You Think

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    Although estimates vary, evidence suggests that there are more than six million Americans who have an LGBT parent. And LGBT families aren't just a big city or coastal state phenomenon. Mississippi, Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana are all states with a high percentage of LGBT familes. 

    More from CafeMom: 15 LGBT Celebrities Who Give Us Cute Family Inspo

  • Motivated Parents

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    Research suggests that kids benefit from having parents who, well, want to be parents. Given the basics of biology, gay parents don't usually become parents by accident -- something that researcher Abbie Goldberg shared with the website LiveScience -- which leads to parents who "tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average..."

  • No Impacts on Sexual Orientation

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    Image via iStock.com/neoblues

    One of the lingering stereotypes about LGBT families is that kids with gay parents are more likely to be gay themselves. This is, however, not supported by scientific research. 

    And, really, let's end the thinking that having a kid who turns out to be gay is a bad thing. Love is love, right?

  • Discrimination Is Still Real

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    While the research is clear that LGBT families can raise great kids, gay couples still face discrimination when it comes to adoption in some states. There is hope, however, that some of these discriminatory laws will be overturned now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. C'mon, Mississippi, you can do this!

  • Kids Are Safe

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    Image via iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

    One of the crueler stereotypes that anti-gay activists try to perpetuate is that there is a link between being gay and an increased likelihood of committing child molestation. The reality? This is just NOT true. In fact, a child is more likely to be molested by a mother's heterosexual partner than any other group. 

    More from CafeMom: 13 Companies to Love for Their Support of LGBT Rights

  • Social Acceptance

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    Image via iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

    Children who are currently being raised in LGBT homes are growing up in a time of increased social acceptance. Not only is it now more possible than ever for their parents to marry, but the majority of American now agree that gay couples should be able to adopt and/or foster children. 

  • Just Like Straight Couples

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    Image via iStock.com/AleksandarNakic

    The bottom line, according to years of research, is that the sexual orientation of the parents isn't nearly as important to the well-being of the child as how well those parents communicate and the stability of their life and relationships. I'm not a scientist, but doesn't that sound exactly like what matters most for raising kids in a non-LGBT home?

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