University of Cambridge Professor Susan Golombok's longitudinal studies of lesbian mothers, gay fathers, single parents, surrogacy families, and, most importantly their children, seeks to find out if the children are as well-adjusted, happy, and emotionally stable as children from traditional nuclear families.
The families were visited many times as the children grew from infancy to adolescence and into young adults. In most cases, the parents had good and sometimes better relationships with their children in the younger years. The studies did identify longer-term benefits of early disclosure of how the child was conceived.
When comparing two-parent gay father families formed through surrogacy to two-parent lesbian mother families created by sperm donation, all the children had positive relationships with their parents. However, the gay fathers' children showed lower levels of emotional problems than the children of lesbian mothers.
Conclusion: Just like children in traditional families, the psychological wellbeing of children who grow up in families created through ART depends on the wellbeing of their parents, the quality of their relationships with their parents, and the social circumstances in which they grow up. Factors that protect children against the negative effects of stigmatization include: contact with other children with same-sex parents, supportive schools and communities, and legislation that is conducive to the optimal functioning of same-sex parent families.