Lesbian and gay adoptive parents and their children

Rachel H. Farr, Charlotte J. Patterson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Increasing numbers of lesbian and gay adults are becoming parents through adoption. The adoption of children by lesbian and gay adults does, however, remain a controversial topic across the USA and around the world. Several questions have been raised in these debates. For instance, to what extent do lesbian and gay adults make capable adoptive parents? Are children who have been adopted by lesbian and gay parents growing up in healthy ways? What factors contribute to positive family functioning in adoptive families with lesbian and gay parents? In this chapter, we present a growing body of social science research that has begun to address such questions. Findings from this research suggest that lesbian and gay adults are successful in adoptive parent roles and that their children are developing in positive directions. Research on these families has, however, been subject to criticism on methodological grounds, and we therefore consider the issues raised by such critiques. Further, in light of the existing literature, we point out directions for future research. Overall, the findings to date suggest that parental sexual orientation should not be a deciding factor in placing children with permanent adoptive families. We discuss various implications of this research for the legal system and for child welfare agencies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLGBT-Parent Families
Subtitle of host publicationInnovations in Research and Implications for Practice
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781461445562
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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