A new study has once again confirmed that same-sex couples are just as effective at raising children as opposite-sex couples. Focusing specifically on children adopted at an early age, the study compared gay and lesbian couples to straight couples who were all becoming parents for the first time. Though there were differences in the children’s psychological adjustment, they were not affected by their family type.
What the study actually found is that when parents adopt, how prepared parents were and how depressed parents were impacted their children:
- Parents’ level of preparation for the adoption was related to both externalizing and internalizing symptoms, such that parents who were less prepared reported more symptoms in their children.
- Parents’ depressive symptoms were also related to externalizing and internalizing symptoms in adopted children, such that more depressed parents reported more symptoms in their children. Depressive symptoms may compromise parents’ emotional availability and ability to parent effectively, which can contribute to child adjustment problems.
Conservatives have tried to argue that same-sex couples are selfish for wanting to have children, arguing against marriage equality because marriage should be about what’s best for children, not adults. In fact, just today the National Organization for Marriage endorsed the viewpoint of Robert Oscar Lopez, who has called same-sex parenting “child abuse,” describing adoption as “buying other human beings as property.”
This study suggests that it’s that very “selfishness” that contributes to the success of same-sex parenting that studies have consistently found. Processes like adoption and surrogacy are so arduous, expensive, and even heartbreaking that couples must be passionately committed to the idea of raising a child. Likewise, same-sex couples will not have any accidental children they did not intentionally decide to raise.
If social conservatives are truly committed to the well-being of children, they should stop worrying about the gender of their parents and focus on ensuring that all families have the support and resources they need. (HT: Mombian.)