Children of same-sex couples tell their story

The Boston Globe explores the lives of children with lesbian and gay parents “in a nation where the phrase that’s so gay is a commonplace slur on playgrounds to describe anything weird or distasteful”.

Interviews by the Globe with nearly two dozen children in families across the region found some still struggling to sort out their feelings about being unlike their peers in this one important way. Some still shrink from a neighbor’s gaze in hopes that their secret will not be found out. Many others are so proud of their families, and happy in their lives, that they are prepared to clamber up the State House steps to trumpet the cause as the Legislature prepares to resume debate this week on gay marriage.

They are members of the “gayby boom” as some call it. Estimated at between 6 and 14 million in the United States, the children of same-sex parents are an expanding cadre of eclectic experience. Many of the older ones have divorced parents, one of whom now has a partner of the same sex. There are a large number of children born to lesbian couples, ever more so as donor insemination becomes more commonplace. And more and more gay male couples are building families through surrogacy or adoption.

How these children fare, how they are like and unlike the children of heterosexual parents, has come up often in the wake of the Supreme Judicial Court ruling in favor of gay marriage. In this charged atmosphere, it is a conversation that can quickly become a shouting match.

There are, in fact, few places to turn for clear answers. Some researchers who have studied whether such children are more likely to be gay or have behavioral problems suggest the answer is no. But there have been very few large, long-term studies; most are considered too small to be conclusive. The scientific study of gay childrearing is at an infant stage.

3/2009

2 thoughts on “Children of same-sex couples tell their story

  • June 29, 2009 at 6:03 pm
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    I was the first single gay adoptive parent in Arizona… We had a don’t ask, Don’t tell policy…

    Raising kids is a very normalizing experience, having a parent (if not having two) is likewise a normalizing experience…

    I adopted two older siblings, who without my home would have spent their childhood in a group home…

    My kids know I’ll go to the ends of the earth for them…as would any parent…

    After you clear away the clutter, my sexual preference really doesn’t make any difference.

  • September 14, 2009 at 2:52 pm
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    Im doing a paper over the anti-gay adoption bill in kentucky. I need more people like you to tell their story. To try and get the point across that having a gay parent or parents is not going to corrupt a child’s mind or anything. I really like the point you made about the two siblings having to spend their childhood in a group home if it were not for you.

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