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Gay Parents and LGBT Families

Updated on March 1, 2012

LGBT Families - A Growing Segment of the Population

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 600,000 same-sex couples live in the United States and more than a third of these have at least one child. Of those LGBT parents, about half have two or more children. That means there are approximately 200-400,000 children in the United States currently being raised by same-sex couples, not including single lesbian or single gay parents.

If you include single parents, research indicates that there may be as many as nine million children being raised by at least one gay or lesbian parent.

This lens is for LGBT families looking for resources about families like ours.

LGBT Family Events

Need some other lesbian and gay parents to hang out with? Want something fun to do? Check out these links for groups that make it easy to connect with other families.

Books for Young Children of Gay or Lesbian Parents

Children enjoy reading stories that include children in families like their own. Here are a few now available.

Interview with Abigail Garner, author of "Families Like Mine"


If you're thinking about becoming a parent or already have kids, check out these resources for advice and research.

Research on Lesbian and Gay Parenting

Research on LGBT families has shown that children raised by gay and lesbian parents grow up as successfully as children raised by straight parents. Here are some key findings.

  1. There is no evidence to suggest that gay men or lesbians are unfit to be parents. (American Psychological Association, 1995).
  2. Children with one or two parents who are gay or lesbian fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. (Perrin, 2002).
  3. Evidence shows that children's optimal development is influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by its particular structural form (Perrin, 2002).

Links to Research on Gay Parenting

Legal Rights of LGBT Parents

Where you live determines what type of legal rights you will be entitled to as gay parents. Laws vary widely from state to state.

According to the ACLU, 21 states currently allow second-parent adoptions to lesbian and gay couples and 22 states have allowed lesbians and gay men to adopt children. But two (Florida and New Hampshire) have laws that expressly bar lesbians and gay men from ever adopting children.

You can check for laws and legislation concerning gays and lesbians in your state by visiting the Human Rights Campaign.

In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents

12 Reasons Same-Sex Marriage Will Ruin Society :-)

A parody of arguments against gay marriage, including parenting

I love this list. It was originally created by the very funny folks at the Gator Gay-Straight Alliance at the University of Florida.

1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control are not natural.

2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people cannot get legally married because the world needs more children.

3. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children because straight parents only raise straight children.

4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful, since Britney Spears's 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.

5. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and it hasn't changed at all: women are property, Blacks can't marry Whites, and divorce is illegal.

6. Gay marriage should be decided by the people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of minorities.

7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are always imposed on the entire country. That's why we only have one religion in America.

8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people makes you tall.

9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage license.

10. Children can never succeed without both male and female role models at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to cars or longer lifespans.

12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "separate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages will for gays & lesbians.

Permission to Marry Video - A thought-provoking video produced by Public Interest

High-Profile or Famous Lesbian Moms and Gay Dads

Role Models and Trailblazers

Want to know what high-profile gays and lesbians are saying about parenthood? Here are links to some articles.

Melissa Etheridge - in Metro Weekly

Rosie O'Donnell - in The Advocate

Jeff Lutes, Executive Director of Soulforce, Inc. - on About.com

Clay Aiken on CNN.com

Ricky Martin in the Seattle Times

You're helping children with AIDS!

A portion of the proceeds from this lens are donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens! You've put together an awesome list of links for gay parents and those in our community who want to be parents. I have a child myself (he's 16 and would not want to be called a child)...from originally going the "traditional" route but now my wife, who has no children of her own, wants to adopt. There are some great resources here that we'll both be looking at together.

    • profile image

      cathed 6 years ago

      Thank you! What a refreshing change from the fundamentalist propaganda I've seen here!

    • profile image

      Shark_Magus 6 years ago

      Nice to see others doing this besides myself.

    • profile image

      reeniad 6 years ago

      Big challenge! gay marriage is not even legal in the Asian country like mine:(

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 6 years ago from Burbank, CA

      so scared to think about it. the focus needs to be them. need to create a stable financal life for them. no more late night dinners with friends. but we went to a baseball game today with friends and their sons. Oh that would be so fun if it was our family. Is it harder than straight people? Or is it one of those things that if it is harder makes it more worthwhile? Thanks for the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful Lens. Really made me want to have a child

    • LadyLovelace LM profile image

      LadyLovelace LM 6 years ago

      I am sort of a little in love with this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      this is an amazing topic. well written, wish it had a little more information though

      Gay Rings

    • NarrowPathPubli profile image

      NarrowPathPubli 6 years ago

      Thanks for this lens! I'm not a parent yet, but I'm sure this information will be very helpful to me if/when the time comes. I'm lensrolling it to my lens Shades of Gay "Comes Out" For Suicide Prevention in case it can help some of my readers.

    • profile image

      jwm62377 7 years ago

      Thank you for your lens! Very informative! Hope to have kids of my own one day! Not sure about a partner LOL. 5 stars!

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 7 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Thank you for this page full of great information and resources. I hope the day comes soon when we are looking back at marriage inequality the same way we look back at racial segregation - as a distasteful and shameful practice of the past.

    • profile image

      UnityR 7 years ago

      A group of 60 American senators signed a letter, asking Barack Obama and members of Congress to make discrimination against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people) immigrants disappear. Currently, LGBT Americans are not allowed to sponsor their partners for immigration purposes while more than 20 countries (including Canada) allow it. How long people are going to still be separated due to immigration decisions? Are they finally going to be able to live as human beings? By the way, you should check out this website about âHuman Unityâ that I found pretty interesting: http://www.loshomos.com/

    • profile image

      UnityR 7 years ago

      A group of 60 American senators signed a letter, asking Barack Obama and members of Congress to make discrimination against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people) immigrants disappear. Currently, LGBT Americans are not allowed to sponsor their partners for immigration purposes while more than 20 countries (including Canada) allow it. How long people are going to still be separated due to immigration decisions? Are they finally going to be able to live as human beings? By the way, you should check out this website about âHuman Unityâ that I found pretty interesting: http://www.loshomos.com/

    • profile image

      Levitah 7 years ago

      Very good, informative lens...

      Surely deserves to be favorited and 5 stars...

    • profile image

      sloanesart 7 years ago

      love your lens. notice your from CA, sorry about prop 8. hang in there, i have hope that everyone will be treated the same and we should learn to celebrate peoples differences, not condemn them.

    • profile image

      Zion 7 years ago

      Wow! I really like your lens! Very informative!...

      I'll keep reading & I'll share this lens to my subscribers.

      Thank you so much!

      Get your FREE 13 Video Tutorials Here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu4UK2CPO1E

      Zion

      http://the-boss-buster.blogspot.com

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      Love your top 12 list! ***** lens

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 8 years ago

      Lots of information here... well done for bringing this to peoples attention, there is no reason why gay parents can't be as good or even better than straight parents. 5*****

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I'm so happy to have you featured in my Parenting Group Parenting on Squidoo. Please check back often to add any of your new lenses to the group. I'm always looking for new feature topics, so make a suggestion and I will do my best to make it happen! And remember, you are making a difference!

      Ashley

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      Well done for bringing this to our attention. Where I live in the UK, one of the children I worked with was in a foster home with gay parents. He succeeded with them, where 'straight' couples had given up on him. 5*****

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Want more traffic to your lens?

      I would like to FEATURE your lens in my Parenting Group! Parenting on Squidoo. I'll even create a special category just for you!

      Ashley

      Everything You Need to Know About Attachment Parenting.

    • profile image

      NoonH8 8 years ago

      I just wanted to spread the word... California is going to have a referendum on the Nov ballot to stop the legal marriage of same-sex partners. Please, Californians, vote NO on 8, vote NO on Hate! And for those of you with friends in California, get them to register and get them to vote! Visit my profile for more info (squidoo.com/no8). Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great lense with awesome information. The more I see positive info. out there about LGBT families, the more "at home" I feel on earth. Thanks for educating the world. We need to help people understand that just because we were raised by gay parents, it doesn't mean we are any different than every other adult/kid on the planet!

      Create a great day!

      Kristen, Straght, well-adjusted, happily married, sane, geeky, intelligent, life enthusiast, who was raised by a lesbian.

    • Gigglesoup profile image

      Gigglesoup 9 years ago

      Kudos! 5 Stars! Loved the list about same-sex marriage ruining society. I wished I had used it on my own lens, Gay Weddings Just hope the November vote is not a blow to common sense and decency.

    • Janusz LM profile image

      Janusz LM 9 years ago

      You´ve addressed a big problem with bravour, Well done :)

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 9 years ago

      you have a good point gays can also be great parents ! too bad so many people are closed minded but you do what you got to do and thats good for you !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Check out this great movie over on youtube about a gay artist fixated on Anti-gay brutality. here's the link:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF4H9fQOiMA

      Oh! this is just part one of 6 other parts - just look up "Fall, Hot Rain"

    • mythphile profile image

      Ellen Brundige 9 years ago from California

      Wow. I'm almost tempted to try this page on my GRANDPARENTS and see if they're convinced -- that's how well you've addressed the topic.

      I'd not seen that list at the end before. My own answer is always a little more grim -- a good friend of mine is a straight daughter of lesbian mums, and her ex-husband is now in jail for molesting their daughter. So which form of marriage is more damagiing to kids? Obviously sexual orientation ain't the way to tell :/

    • profile image

      Abbeys_Carolinas 9 years ago

      Very nice! I need to go shopping :) Please visit our lens diversitywithpride to read about a modern heroine who made life better for one person, one person at a time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Great information for gay parents to be! I love the abigail garner video, I can relate to so much of what she talks about. Love the family products, wish they had those when I was growing up!

      Create a great day!

      Kristen

      http://rainbowinme.amazingsteps.com

    • profile image

      bfiori 10 years ago

      Great list of resources for parents! Congratulations!

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Hi-Stopped by to 'lend our support" and rated you 5 Starz! Best, ZEITGAYS