For many couples, becoming parents is the most rewarding experience in the world. Gay couples especially, value the ability to have children through the miracle of adoption. Unfortunately, many people doubt the ability of gay couples to parent children and the adoption process is not always an easy one for them.
A groundbreaking study in the UK could change everything, making it easier than ever before for gay and lesbian couples to expand their families. "We know how important it is to find the best possible placement for each and every child in care — and we know that LGBT people often come to adoption or fostering as the first choice for expanding their family, bringing love, real enthusiasm and resourcefulness," said Helen Donohoe, Director of Public Policy at Action for Children, LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week's main sponsor.
The British Association for Adoption and Fostering found that children brought up by homosexual couples are thriving. The study details experiences of 130 families, 49 of which were heterosexual couples, 41 were gay couples, and 40 were lesbian couples.
"Overall we found markedly more similarities than differences in experiences between family types," said Professor Susan Golombok, director of the Centre for Family Research and co-author of the report. She went on to say that anxieties about the negative effects of being raised by gay couples were, according to her research, "unfounded."
The study not only concluded that children of same sex parents are doing markedly well, but that gay men in particular were handling the challenge of raising a child who began life under poor circumstances.
Following the release of this information, Sir Martin Narey, a UK government adoption advisor, has been encouraging LGBT people to consider adoption.
"I have seen how LGBT people, who tend to come to adoption or fostering as their first choice for becoming parents, bring a particular determination and enthusiasm to it," he said. "They find themselves parenting some of our most damaged children, do so with overwhelming success, and many more gay adopters need to be encouraged to come forward."
What does this mean for the fight for equality? Hopefully a lot. The BAAF's study is especially important because in the past gay couples had a very difficult time adopting — and being social accepted as parents. Even gay marriage supporters have been opposed to gay couples adopting. Ahem, Karl Lagerfeld. Let's hope this information will be instrumental in bringing about full equality for LGBT couples.
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