High risk children adopted by gay and lesbian parents do just as well as those adopted by heterosexual couples, according to new US research, landing another blow to critics of homosexual parenting rights.
“We found virtually no differences between children from heterosexual and gay and lesbian households,” reported researchers after following 82 high-risk children adopted in Los Angeles (15 by gay and seven by lesbian couples).
“Significant gains” were seen for children across all three household types two months, one year and two years after they were placed with their adoptive parents, the researchers reported in the Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
The similarities between households were “especially notable” considering the children adopted by homosexual couples had significantly higher levels of background risk, averaging around one additional risk factor than the children adopted by heterosexual couples, the authors wrote.
Gay and lesbian couples were also more likely to be a different ethnicity than their adopted children, suggesting that these couples “were more open to diversity in all forms”.
The findings prompted authors to call for greater openness to gay and lesbian adoption applicants.
In an era when thousands of foster children lack stable, adoptive homes and concerns about the suitability of gay and lesbian adoptive parents limit the pool of potential parents, these data indicate that gay and lesbian parents can promote healthy, cognitive and emotional development in this high-risk population in a similar manner to heterosexual parents,” they concluded.
As first appeared in Psychiatry Update, 25 October 2012