Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families in Italy: Is Parents' Sexual Orientation Associated with Child Health Outcomes and Parental Dimensions?
Seventy gay fathers through surrogacy, 125 lesbian mothers through donor insemination, and 195 heterosexual parents through spontaneous conception, all with children aged 3 to 11 years and living in Italy, were compared on children's psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior, as well as parental self-efficacy, dyadic adjustment, family cohesion, and flexibility. Associations among family structures, family processes, and child health outcomes were also tested.
Findings suggested that children with same-sex parents fare well both in terms of psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior. The present study warns policy makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments.