California News Service
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A new study finds that adopted children of same-sex couples experience no differences from peers being raised by households with a male and a female.
Rachel Farr, a developmental psychologist and psychology professor at the University of Kentucky, studied nearly 100 families made up of a mix of two men, two women and couples of the opposite sex. After ten years of evaluating them, she reached one conclusion.
“Parent sexual orientation, the family structure, is not emerging as anything that’s having any sort of lasting effects,” she said. “Rather, it’s the processes going on within the family, the quality of family relationships, or parenting, that seem much more important.”
Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that banning same-sex couples from adopting children is unconstitutional, making gay adoption legal in all 50 states. It’s been legal in California since 2003. In her report, Farr also concluded that, overall, children had fewer behavior problems over time when parents were less stressed and in more satisfying relationships.
According to the U.S. Census, there are 594,000 same-sex couple households in the country, and 115,000 of them reported having children. Farr said while laws are catching up with society, research such as hers can aid in setting the policies of individual agencies and perceptions of birth mothers and fathers.
“Individual adoption agencies might even have different policies that in some ways may be either discriminatory or just not as welcoming, and I think that is an area where we still need more research and more room to grow,” she explained.
According to the Williams Institute, an estimated two million LGBT people are interested in adopting. November is National Adoption Month.