In recent years, there has been much debate regarding LGBTQ+ adoption, particularly for perspective adoptive parents. National laws have progressed to permit same-sex couples as well as single LGBTQ+ persons to adopt children, placing hundreds of thousands of foster children in loving and nurturing homes.
Despite social and political strides for the LGBTQ+ community, some still find issues with same-sex parents adopting and raising children. The idea that gay, lesbian, and transgender couples should not adopt children largely roots from religious scriptures and politically conservative values that carried over to legal statutes dating back centuries.
Here are some myth-busting facts that support adoption by same-sex parents and those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community:
Myth #1: Gay and lesbian couples are “unfit” to be parents.
Fact: There is no evidence suggesting that gay men and women are unfit or incapable of being parents. In fact, the home environment of a LBGTQ+ household is as likely to successfully support a child’s development as that of a non-LGBTQ+ household.
Additionally, quality parenting is not by any means influenced by sexual orientation; It is most derived from the parent’s ability to create a loving and nurturing home. In a study conducted by Child Development, results concluded that LGBTQ+ parents are no better or worse at raising a child than non-LGBTQ+ parents. In fact, the research indicated that perspective LGBTQ+ parents often prepare themselves more for the adoption process due to its legal and sociocultural challenges.
Myth #2: Children adopted by LGBTQ+ parents are more likely to be less intelligent and behave delinquently.
Fact: There is also no evidence suggesting that the children of LGBTQ+ parents are less intelligent, suffer from more problems, or have lower self-esteem than children raised by heterosexual parents. A recent study measured that teens raised in both types of households fared similar GPAs. Teen males averaged at 2.8 in sex-same parental households, while their counterparts averaged at 2.65 in heterosexual parental households.
In another study, teens were asked about delinquent activities (i.e. vandalism, shoplifting, and fighting) in the past year. Teens in both LGBTQ+ and heterosexual households averaged similarly at a 1.8 rating on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest degree of delinquency.
Myth #3: Children of same-sex parents are likely to grow up to be “weird” and unaccepted by society.
Fact: As stated in the previous statistic, children raised in either household dynamic will not have problems any different from one another. In fact, an upbringing in a LGBTQ+ household has been linked to boosted self-confidence as well as self-awareness. In a 2010 study published in Pediatrics, researchers concluded that the children of planned lesbian families did not have significant difference in development and social behavior in comparison to children of planned heterosexual families. The children of the lesbian parents were also more confident than those of heterosexual parents, largely due to more active involvement in the children’s lives in lesbian households.
Myth #4: Children of same-sex parents will grow up to be gay themselves.
Fact: This cannot be further from the truth. Would you say that children raised by opposite-sex couples will always grow up to be straight? Absolutely not! All available evidence indicates that a parent’s sexual orientation does not impact that of a child’s. Even so, there is evidence that children of same-sex couples are more accepting of diversity in a world full of various cultural and social customs.
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