What it means for a child to have gay parents

October 10, 2005

Do children who have been raised in a gay or lesbian household have problems with school or their personal and social relationships? What are the implications of marriage for these children? Those questions were discussed today during a special scientific forum at the AAP's National Conference.

Do children who have been raised in a gay or lesbian household have problems with school or their personal and social relationships? What are the implications of marriage for these children? Those questions were discussed today during a special scientific forum at the AAP's National Conference.

Ellen Perrin, MD, conducted a review of numerous studies that followed children raised in gay and lesbian families. Several studies compared outcomes for these children with those of children raised in a heterosexual environment. The studies evaluated parent-child relationships, self-esteem, and psychological adjustment for each group of children. Information from more than 15 studies comprising more than 500 children shows that raising children in a same-sex household does not affect children's self-esteem, gender identity, or risk of psychological problems. In fact, the studies found that children of single parents often a have higher stress level, more discipline problems, and more trouble with social adjustment than do children raised by a lesbian couple.

"Overall, there is little or no difference between children raised in a two-parent homosexual or heterosexual environment," said Dr. Perrin.