Parenting

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    LGBT Parenting in the United States

    By Gates J. Gates
    February 2013

    As many as six million American children and adults have an LGBT parent. Same-sex couple parents and their children are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities. An estimated 39 percent of individuals in same-sex couples with children under age 18 at home are non-white, as are half of their children. States with the highest proportions of same-sex couples raising biological, adopted or step-children include Mississippi (26%), Wyoming (25%), Alaska (23%), Idaho (22%), and Montana (22%).

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    Adolescents with Lesbian Mothers Describe Their Own Lives

    By Nanette Gartrell, Henny Bos H, Heidi Peyser, et al.
    November 2012

    Teens with lesbian mothers are academically successful and happy with their lives. These adolescents had strong family bonds, and they were nearly unanimous in describing their mothers as good role models. They also reported having numerous close friends—generally with same-age peers who were predominantly heterosexual. Teenagers were asked a series of questions about their everyday life experiences including academics, extracurricular activities, aspirations, friendships, family interactions, role models, health problems and wellbeing.

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    Gender-Typed Play Behavior in Early Childhood: Adopted Children with Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Parents

    By Abbie E. Goldberg, Deborah A. Kashy, JuliAnna Z. Smith
    October 2012

    A study of young children of first-time adoptive parents found that the children of same-gender parents were less gender stereotyped in their play behavior than the children of heterosexual parents, which may translate to strengths that aid them later in life. How parents play, and what kinds of toys they let their kids play with, can affect child development. In the study, the children of same-gender parents were found to engage in more flexible play behavior, thus facilitating their ability to engage in a wide range of behaviors and activities.

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    Letter to the editors and advisory editors of Social Science Research

    By Gary J. Gates et al.
    August 2012

    A letter to the editors of Social Science Research regarding Mark Regnerus’ paper entitled ‘‘How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?

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    Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Male role models, gender role traits, and psychological adjustment

    By Henny Bos, Naomi Goldberg, Loes Van Gelderen, Nanette Gartrell
    June 2012

    The absence of male role models did not adversely affect the psychological adjustment of 17-year-old teens raised in lesbian-headed households, based on teens who participated in the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS).

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    Stigmatization Associated With Growing Up in a Lesbian-parented Family: What Do Adolescents Experience and How Do They Deal With It?

    By Loes van Gelderen, Nanette Gartrell, Henny M.W. Bos, et al.
    March 2012

    Fifty percent of 17-year-olds who grew up in lesbian-headed families in the United States have experienced stigmatization, but were able to cope, according to a new study published in Children and Youth Services Review.

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    Case of Atala Riffo and Children vs. Chile

    Translated by Stephanie Plotin
    March 2012

    Official Summary Issued By the Inter-American Court of the Decision

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    Children and Families Impacted and Fiscal Impact of Virginia HB 189/SB 349

    By Gary Gates
    February 2012

    We estimate that 1,700 adopted children and 300 foster children are being raised by single lesbians and gay men in Virginia. If this legislation were to pass, families such as these may find it more difficult to serve as adoptive or foster parents, resulting in more children in congregate care or more children remaining in foster care for longer periods of time.

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    Family Formation and Raising Children Among Same-sex Couples

    By Gary Gates
    January 2012

    Proportionally fewer same-sex couples are raising children today than in 2006, and their families reflect greater racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity than often represented in the media and academic research, according to new analyses by Williams Distinguished Scholar Dr. Gary Gates, published by the National Council of Family Relations.

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    Quality of Life of Adolescents Raised From Birth by Lesbian Mothers

    By Loes van Gelderen, Henny Bos, Nanette Gartrell, Jo Hermanns, Ellen C. Perrin
    January 2012

    The quality of life of 17-year-olds reared in lesbian-parent families did not differ from that of a matched group of adolescents who grew up in heterosexual-parent families.

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    New Trends in Same-Sex Contact for American Adolescents?

    By Nanette Gartrell, Henny Bos, and Naomi Goldberg
    December 2011

    New data suggests that seventeen-year-old girls are significantly less likely to have been heterosexually active and more than twice as likely to have had same-sex contact (11% v. 5%). They are also more likely to have used emergency contraception and less likely to have been pregnant.

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    Family Characteristics, Custody Arrangements, and Adolescent Psychological Well-being After Lesbian Mothers Break Up

    Nanette Gartrell, Henny Bos, Heidi Peyser, Amalia Deck, And Carla Rodas
    November 2011

    Based on the first longitudinal study on dissolutions among lesbian couples, this article suggests the importance of co-parent adoption for same-sex couples with children.

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    Brief of Amici Curiae: Adar v. Smith

    By Jennifer C. Pizer and R. Bradley Sears
    August 2011

    for the Surpreme Court’s Review of Unmarried Parent Adoptions, Adar v. Smith

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    Substance use by adolescents of the USA national longitudinal lesbian family study

    By Naomi G. Goldberg, Henny M.W. Bos, Nanette K. Gartrell
    May 2011

    Although studies show that adolescents with same-sex parents experience homophobic discrimination, little is known about associations between stigmatization and substance use in this population. The 17-year-old offspring of lesbian parents from the largest, longest-running, longitudinal study of same-sex parented families were surveyed about substance use, experiences of homophobic stigmatization, and overall life satisfaction.

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    Stigma, Social Context, and Mental Health: Lesbian and Gay Couples Across the Transition to Adoptive Parenthood

    By Abbie E. Goldberg, JuliAnna Z. Smith
    February 2011

    This is the first study to examine change in depression and anxiety across the first year of adoptive parenthood in same-sex couples (90 couples: 52 lesbian, 38 gay male). Given that sexual minorities uniquely contend with sexual orientation-related stigma, this study examined how both internalized and enacted forms of stigma affect the mental health of lesbians and gay men during the transition to parenthood.

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    Adolescents of the USA National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Can Family Characteristics Counteract the Negative Effects of Stigmatization?

    By Nanette K. Gartrell, Henny M. W. Bos
    December 2010

    This investigation examines the impact of homophobic stigmatization on the wellbeing of 17-year-old adolescents who were conceived through donor insemination and whose mothers enrolled before they were born in the largest, longest-running, prospective study of lesbian families, with a 93% retention rate to date.

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    Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Risk Exposure

    By Nanette K. Gartrell, Henny M. W. Bos, Naomi G. Goldberg
    November 2010

    This study assessed Kinsey self-ratings and lifetime sexual experiences of 17-year-olds with lesbian mothers in the longest-running, prospective study of same-sex parented families. The results revealed that there were no reports of physical or sexual victimization by a parent or other caregiver.

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    Preadoptive Factors Predicting Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Couples’ Relationship Quality Across the Transition to Adoptive Parenthood

    By Abbie E. Goldberg, Deborah A. Kashy, JuliAnna Z. Smith
    August 2010

    The authors examined preadoptive factors as predictors of relationship quality (love, ambivalence, and conflict) among 125 couples (44 lesbian couples, 30 gay male couples, and 51 heterosexual couples) across the 1st year of adoptive parenthood.

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    Parenting and Child Development in Adoptive Families: Does Parental Sexual Orientation Matter?

    By Rachel H. Farr, Stephen L. Forssell, Charlotte J. Patterson
    July 2010

    This study, funded by Williams Institute, investigated child development and parenting in 106 families headed by 27 lesbian, 29 gay, and 50 heterosexual couples with young adopted children. Parents and teachers reported that, on average, children were developing in typical ways.

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    The Impact of Expanding FMLA Rights to Care for Children of Same-Sex Partners

    By M.V. Lee Badgett
    June 2010

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has expanded its scope of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow employees to be allowed unpaid leave to care for the children of unmarried same-sex partners, but does not extend this unpaid leave to care for ill unmarried same-sex partners.

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