Children Of Same Sex Parents

By Dr Ruth McNair. Updated 13th October 2014

A wide range of studies from around the world have shown that children who grow up in families with same sex parents do just as well as children with heterosexual parents. There is some evidence that these children have some advantages such as being more aware and respectful of diversity.

Many lesbian parents worry that their children will be subject to bullying about their family at school. Children do experience negative attitudes from peers, particularly in early high school. However, adults with lesbian parents, looking back on their childhood do not recall any higher levels of bullying than those from heterosexual parented families.

Viv Ray has been involved in supporting children with lesbian and gay parents for many years. She has suggested a range of methods that are be used by lesbian and gay families to overcome a homophobic environment for their children (from Ray, Viv. Fostering resilience in children of lesbian and gay families (Fact Sheet No. Number 2.1). Melbourne: Australian Drug Foundation, 2003):
• emphasising children’s pride in their family and feeling special
• discussing each family member’s level of comfort about being ‘out’
• being sensitive to the changing needs of the child as they develop
• advocating on behalf of their children to improve the inclusion of diversity at pre-schools and schools
• participating in lesbian and gay parenting support groups so that children can meet others from similar families
• actively connecting with the lesbian and gay parenting community through participation in Pride marches and conferences
Children’s books:

Brenna and Vicki Harding. ‘My House’, ‘Going to Fair Day’, ‘The Rainbow Cubby House’, ‘Koalas on Parade’. Vicki Harding, Bulldog books, Sydney 2002
Available at www.hotkey.net.au/~learn_to_include/
Resources:

A comprehensive review was conducted for the Australian Psychological Society on outcomes for children in same sex parented families:

http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/statements/lgbt_families/

 

Beyondblue also have a resource for families with LGBTI children:

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/lesbian-gay-bi-trans-and-intersex-lgbti-people/families-like-mine

 

PFlag Victoria

A group of parents, families and friends of gay, lesbian and bisexual people who meet regularly to offer support and friendship to families, particularly parents, and also to members of the GLBTI community who may need support in coming out to their families and friends.

http://www.pflagvictoria.org.au/