12:23 | 18th April 2019

News: UK

Mon 4 Mar, 2013
By Robert Ingham

children adopted by gay and lesbian couples are as capable and adjusted as those from the more "traditional" household

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The first study into same sex couples who adopt has shown that they are just as good at parenting as heterosexual couples.

The findings from the University of Cambridge's Centre for Family Research, published tomorrow by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering will state that children adopted by gay and lesbian couples are as capable and adjusted as those from the more "traditional" household.

The survey, which polled 130 gay, lesbian and heterosexual adoptive families of children aged between four and eight, revealed that any fears held for the child growing up disadvantaged and being bullied at school were totally incorrect.

Professor Susan Golombok, director of the Cambridge centre and report co-author, said: "What I don't like is when people make assumptions that a certain type of family, such as gay fathers, will be bad for children.

The anxieties about the potentially negative effects for children of being placed with gay fathers seem to be, from our study, unfounded."

Researchers found that gay and lesbian parents are as good at coping with the demands of parenting, and that gay men are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. The report suggested that "same-sex couples were much less likely to have experienced infertility on their route to parenthood and were more likely to come to adoption as their first choice", and that gay men were "extremely committed to parenthood."

Former TV presenter Phil Reay-Smith, who has an adopted son, said: "I'm not at all surprised that gay couples have been found to be just as good adopters as straight adopters are. I look at my own family, which is me, my husband, Michael, and our son, Scott, who is six, and we just have a very boring family life. We haven't had any problems in the playground yet. My main concern is perhaps what happens at secondary school, but my belief is that if we educate him to have the confidence in himself about his family situation, he'll be able to deal with anything that does crop up."

There are thousands of children who are in need of good homes and, as the Government's adoption adviser, Sir Martin Narey says, LBGT people "bring determination and enthusiasm" to fostering and adoption, so it is hoped this survey will encourage more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to come forward.


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