In the past couple of years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of LGBT individuals wanting to and forming their own families. The good thing is that the options available to them have increased as well and include:
- Foster care
- Artificial Insemination etc.
With the passage of time, the number of couples belonging to the LGBT community are on the rise, and as humans, it is natural for them to want to become parents. As evident from the equality and human rights perspective, they have the right to have children and form their own families. It is for this reason that the total number of children across the world who live with at least one gay parent lies between six to 14 million – and this number is expected to increase as time passes by and adoption centers and agencies become more willing to let LGBT couples adopt children. The option of artificial insemination is available as well so lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples can have kids too!
Countries like the USA, Canada and UK are facing a severe shortage of adoptive and foster parents. For this reason, thousands of children in these countries remain within foster care systems which are riddled with endless problems. This is where LGBT parents step in to help. By adopting children, such couples give these children a promising life and for the record, such parents are just as good as straight parents. Here’s why and how:
7 #: LGBT couples actually ‘choose’ to have kids – and want them!
When it comes to straight couples, it is fairly frequent to have ‘oops’ babies – unwanted pregnancies and unplanned babies. From what we know, half of the pregnancies in USA end up being unplanned, and research has it that only half of them end up in birth – the other half ends up in abortions. Yes most parents of unplanned children can do a wonderful job at parenting, but there’s no denying the fact that some of them find it extremely hard to accept the situation they are in and live in dire circumstances – and it is the ‘unplanned’ child that gets to suffer. What makes unplanned births more troublesome is the basic fact that these are paid for by low-income insurance programs so adequate care is not really guaranteed.
On the other hand, LGBT couples actually plan things out in advance and come to a decision to have babies. Although they have biological limits, they overcome these by opting for adoption, finding sperm donors or surrogates and even try out in vitro fertilization. On the whole, they go through a lot of hurdles and put up with a lot of challenges just to fulfill their dreams of having children and forming a family. Because of all these efforts, it is natural for them to feel far more motivated towards the proper upbringing of their children. This is why the general consensus among experts is that LGBT parents are significantly more committed to their families and children than heterosexual parents. The simple reason that they choose to become parents plays a substantial role in adding to their feelings of taking up responsibilities of their children and fulfilling them adequately.
If you consider the group parenting score of LGBT parents, it is safe to say that it is way higher than that of heterosexual who “fell” into the whole parenthood thing – their pregnancies happen ‘accidentally’ and they typically aren’t prepared to take care of a baby. The ‘unplanned’ part of the pregnancy is what sets them off, and this is a major reason why parents of unplanned babies at times end up facing dire circumstances and situations
6 #: LGBT parents are way more tolerant
A major advantage that LGBT parents have over straight parents is that they tend to be significantly more open-minded and tolerant in terms of the upbringing of their children. Experts suggest that children who have LGBT parents tend to be substantially more tolerant of others as compared to children who have been brought up by heterosexual parents.
In order to justify this claim, researchers have carried out extensive studies over children raised by both heterosexual and LGBT couples. For instance, a study was conducted by Clark University and published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry in 2007 over 46 adults who had at least one gay parent. Upon conducting interviews with them, it was found that 28 of them believed their upbringing was far more accepting and tolerant than that of those brought up by heterosexual parents. A majority of the adults that were interviewed felt like their parents gave them extensive freedom in terms of pursuing a variety of interests. They claimed that their parents from the LGBT community did not tell them what they were allowed to do and what not in life. Most of all, they were never stopped from doing things just because the activity was meant for girls or boys. For instance, their parents never told them, ‘Don’t do that – that’s a girl/boy thing’.
To be honest, the reason why LGBT couples are more tolerant and promote tolerance in their children is because they face a lot of social and legal obstacles themselves. They face extensive challenges and overcome a lot to become parents and all the societal pressures against them make them believe all the more in things like equality and tolerance. It is for reasons such as these that researchers have started believing that children raised by LGBT parents have several distinctive advantages as compared to those brought up by straight parents – empathy and tolerance for differences is just one part of it.
The setbacks that the LGBT community has been facing since a very long time, and the fact that some people and religions do not accept their sexual preferences have played a significant role in making them be more tolerant human beings. If anything, they work wonders in raising children who have the same love and empathy for all.
5 #: They raise diverse families
Forming an LGBT family has far more stress and challenges involved than you’d think. After affirming their sexual identities and coming out to their family members and friends etc. they face extensive social pressures. Even with such a lot happening in their lives, they choose to live together with their partners and face every challenge that comes their way together. Once ready, such couples start considering their options in terms of having children. What truly makes LGBT families stand out from the rest is the fact that they are typically rather diverse. Along with the religious, ethnic, economic and other types of diversities that are a part of families, LGBT families have additional varieties and forms of parenting options available to them in terms of formulating a ‘family’.
A bit difficult to understand, here’s how things happen at times. For instance, it is normal for a gay and a lesbian couple to conceive children together and raise them in a combined family on a joint basis. For this purpose, they take on conception options like insemination and when the children are born, all of the parents involved get to share the experience of raising their children. This way, their children get to receive the love of both their mothers and fathers. Not only is the family setting diverse (considering that all the people involved have their own lifestyles and background), it is exceptionally loving too as both the couples go through extensive processes for the conception of their babies.
There are several variants of this arrangement that are normal for LGBT couples to undertake. For instance, the family may involve a single lesbian and a gay couple or a single gay man and a lesbian couple among others. What’s most interesting is that gay men typically do not wish to restrict themselves to traditional fatherhood. For this reason, it is normal for them to donate sperm to their lesbian friends, take up foster parenting, adoption and they are even willing to enlist a surrogate mother. On the whole, it is safe to say that LGBT couples and families are far more diverse and it is this diversity that leads to their children being more open and accepting of others.
4 #: They encourage their children to make friends – their children do so much more easily
Honestly speaking, all the people that I have been friends with in the LGBT community were/are some of the friendliest individuals that I have met. Perhaps due to societal pressures, they believe it is even more important for them to be friendly so that those willing to accept them as they are would do so more open-heartedly. Because of their friendly nature, it is natural for them to want their children to be the same and perhaps this is why experts believe that children brought up by LGBT parents are far friendlier than those brought up by straight parents.
Experts suggest that children who are brought up by LGBT couples have the potential to form friendship bonds at school as easily, if not more, as children who have heterosexual parents. Here, we need to bear in mind the fact that children of LGBT couples face a lot of harassment and are regularly subjected to teasing. However, research has found that daughters who had lesbian parents have higher self-esteem and are very confident about themselves. On the other hand, sons who were brought up lesbian parents had extremely caring natures and were far less aggressive as compared to their peers who had straight parents and families.
A research study that was carried out back in the year 1994 found that children who came from LGBT families had a greater sense of well-being and felt as cared for as children with heterosexual parents did. The main reason they felt this way about their upbringing was because their parents, they claimed, did not force sex-based preferences and restrictions over them.
If truth be told, in case children of LGBT couples have problems, these are typically associated with grief such as that of losing a parent, or going through a divorce instead of the sexual orientations of their parents. On the whole, children who come from LGBT couples face more exposure to people belonging to the opposite sex as compared to the exposure of children who have straight parents. Moreover, it is believed that if children brought up by LGBT couples identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, it is much easier for them to do so than children of straight parents.
3 #: Kids of LGBT couples do just as well in their academics
Children who have lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents have been found to do really well in terms of their academics as well. There is no reason at all for one to believe that kids of LGBT couples are not properly educated or have hindrances at home that prevent them from studying. Rather, if you go through research, you will learn that experts found out through various studies that the grade point averages or GPA of children with LGBT parents are typically on par with children who come from heterosexual families. To be honest, science and research has given us all the more reasons to believe that LGBT parents are just as good as any other, and we just don’t have the right to believe otherwise!
Experts have conducted various studies so as to confirm whether having LGBT parents has an impact on a child’s academics. A study was conducted in which teens living in both types of households were compared to each other. The study found that boys who had lesbian parents received an average GPA of about 2.9, whereas boys who had heterosexual parents received an average GPA of 2.65. On the other hand, teen girls who had lesbian parents had an average GPA of 2.8 whereas the score was 2.9 for teen girls who had straight parents. Studies and statistics such as these go a long way in debunking any myths that we have around these days in terms of LGBT couples not being able to raise well-educated children. There is no reason for us to think so as research has shown just how well such kids do in their academics. Oh, and let’s not forget, research has also proved that the rates remain the same between children of LGBT and straight parents with regards to delinquent activities like fighting or shoplifting.
Honestly speaking, I am not really sure what magic potion LGBT parents use, but it appears that their sexual orientation does not prevent them from becoming outstanding mothers and fathers. Such kids do just as well at school, and do not have more behavioral problems than children who have straight parents.
2 #: They adopt the neediest kids with no regard for their race
LGBT parents are like a dream come true for kids who await adoption. This particularly holds true for the neediest cases where children remain in the foster system for years upon years. Back in October 2011, it was found by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute that nearly 60 percent of gay and lesbian adoptive parents were more interested in adopting children across races. The reason why this is a very important factor to consider is because kids belonging to minorities have a very tough time in terms of making their way out of the foster system. What made the finding even more interesting is the basic fact that nearly 25 percent of children who were adopted by gay and lesbian parents were older than 3. For those who don’t know, this is an extremely tough age range to adopt and most interestingly, more than half of such couples chose to adopt children with special needs. Findings such as these prove that LGBT parents are a huge resource for children who find it hard to get adopted and remain stuck within the system to no end. It proves that LGBT couples are open to adopting children across races irrespective of their age and disabilities – if that is a humane act, I don’t know what is.
If we go by statistics, reports released in 2007 by the Urban Institute suggest that nearly 41 percent of lesbians and more than half of gay men in the United States are interested in adopting children. To be honest, that is a significant amount of potential parents and countless children stuck in foster care would definitely be able to benefit from it. Although the studies do not compare the overall adoption preferences of LGBT couples with those of straight couples, these are suggestive of the basic fact LGBT couple are more inclined towards the adoption of older, minority kids and even those with special needs. With the ever-increasing numbers of children placed with adoption centers and foster care these days, it is safe to say that LGBT couples and parents can play a substantial role in giving all these kids a better life and the love that they deserve.
1 # : LGBT parents have much healthier kids
The one thing that most people would not like is that of people making assumptions that a certain type of family is the best for children or that a particular type of family will be bad for them. These fears, myths and beliefs are rather unfounded and do not hold ground – and the best part is that research does not support them.
At times I have heard people saying that LGBT parents just don’t have what it takes to raise healthy and confident children. Some have even went on to claim that such parents may even molest their children, but if you go through a bit of literature, you are sure to realize that this is as far from the truth as it can get. This is because studies conducted in Australia have actually proved that children who have LGBT parents are actually healthier as compared to those who have straight parents. In the research, it was found by experts that children living with LGBT parents in the 5 to 17 age range have far better general health than children who live with heterosexual parents. This goes on to show that LGBT parents are just as caring and mindful of their children and take the necessary steps to make sure that their kids are healthy. In the research, it was also found that families led by LGBT parents tend to have greater cohesion.
Another important research was carried out by researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia. In the research, they studied 500 children between the ages of one and 17 to find whether the sexual orientations of their parents had any impact whatsoever on their health, cohesion and well-being in general. In terms of family cohesion and general health, it was found that children of LGBT couples had a better score as compared to Australian children belonging to other family backgrounds. In terms of other measures like emotional behavior and self-esteem, the research cited that there weren’t any major differences (statistically), which goes that LGBT parents do just as well in this regard too!