The study, ‘Experiences of Children with Gay Fathers,’ was conducted as an online survey and collected responses from 732 gay fathers in 47 US states, the Daily Mail reports. Responses from gay dads were no different in comparison with those in a sample from heterosexual families. It found that 88 per cent of the study respondents said it was “not true” that their child was unhappy or depressed, compared with 87 per cent of the comparative sample. Similarly, 72 per cent of participants responded that their child does not “worry a lot,” compared with 75 per cent of the general population.
The study also notes that over one third – 36 per cent – of their children had been born in a context of a heterosexual relationship, two fifths – 38 percent by adopting or fostering children, and nearly a fifth – 14 per cent – with the assistance of a surrogate carrier.However, between 20 and 30 per cent of respondents admitted that they faced disapproval from family, friends and some people in religious context. 33 per cent of fathers reported encountering problems getting shared custody, 41 per cent in applying for adoption and nearly a fifth – 18 per cent – with a surrogate mother.Moreover, one-third of children raised in same-sex families had been subjected to teasing, bullying and other stigmatizing experiences by friends.
Gay fathers report that their parenting activities and their perceptions of their children’s well-being are similar to those of children with heterosexual parents, despite barriers to becoming fathers and ongoing experiences of stigmatisation.It is estimated there are over 690,000 same-sex families living in the United States, and 19 per cent of them are raising children under the age of 18. Prof Perrin stresses: “Our data add to those of other investigators showing that children of same-sex parents do as well in every way as children whose parents are heterosexual.”