There are lots of studies that focus on the relationship between mothers and their children, whether they were conceived naturally, born through surrogacy, or adopted. There hasn’t been as much emphasis on studying child adjustment when raised by a male parent, or two male parents.
Unfortunately, some stigmas remain around men raising children alone, and around same-sex partnerships in general, however unfounded the stigmas may be.
Family dynamics have changed drastically in the last few decades, and the legalization of same-sex marriages – and the subsequent national and state laws that offer parental rights to these couples – means that it’s becoming more common to see families with gay fathers and lesbian mothers.
A recent study called “Parenting and the Adjustment of Children Born to Gay Fathers Through Surrogacy” compares two groups of parents: 40 families with gay fathers and 55 families with lesbian mothers. All families were created through donor insemination and the study focused on the adjustment of children aged 3-9 years.
Here are some details about the study and the conclusions they came to regarding children born to gay fathers through surrogacy.
What the Study Found
The results of this study showed an overwhelmingly even playing field.
Overall, there were no differences between families with gay fathers and families with lesbian mothers in terms of “perceived stigma, quality of parenting, parent-child interaction, or children’s externalizing problems as reported by parents and teachers.”
In fact, when the researchers broke down the measurements by individual variables, here’s what they found in both groups:
- Low levels of perceived stigma
- High levels of positive parenting and low levels of negative parenting
- Average levels of parent-child interaction
- Low levels of externalizing problems
Instances of children internalizing problems were low in both groups.
In the study, parents who perceived higher levels of stigma and parents who used more negative parenting styles reported that their children showed higher levels of externalizing problems. However, the perception of stigma and use of negative parenting styles were not combined in any way, according to this study, The same insights are true even in heterosexual family dynamics.
The study also found extremely low levels of psychological problems in both families with gay fathers and families with lesbian mothers.
In its summary, the study found “the children of both gay fathers and lesbian mothers to show high levels of psychological adjustment and to have positive relationships with their parents…Men can be just as competent at parenting as women…the absence of a female parent does not necessarily have adverse consequences for children’s psychological adjustment.”
What Does This Mean?
In short, it means that if the parents show their children love and acceptance and give their children space to express their feelings, then the children are likely to grow up emotionally stable and healthy. This is the same for all families: gay, straight, single-parent, and any other family makeup.
This is something AFS knew all along, and something we are glad they’re finally proving scientifically.
Interested in Starting Your Own Family through Surrogacy? AFS Is Here
More and more families are choosing surrogacy as their route for creating their families. Surrogacy is a great way for male same-sex partners to enjoy every step in the process – from genetic ties to your child to having a chance to be involved in the pregnancy and delivery of your little ones.
Do you have questions or concerns? Reach out to All Families Surrogacy today at (503) 936-7960 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org