There are hundreds of thousands of children who are in foster care and need a home with a family who will love and care for them. Families lead by same-sex couples are viewed as “non-traditional households” and these parents raise their children in very much the same ways as heterosexual parents. These children grow with their adoptive families and if their parents have a stable relationship with each other and with their adoptive children, and have great support systems, then it should not be difficult for those children to thrive in the world as children of gay/lesbian parents.
Families headed by gay and lesbian parents are just as diverse as families led by heterosexual couples (Thompson 36). The only difference in these families is there are two mothers or two fathers. They are seen as “unnatural” by most conservatives and religious organizations and their affiliates (Gateway Child Wellfare Information). The media usually portrays same-sex couples as “white, middle-class, two-parent families who have been together for many years. In actuality, these families are a small percent of the larger LGBTQ family community”. Because of the cultural and societal views of what makes an “ideal family” in the United States as “one mother, one father, and two children,” it is difficult for others to accept those that have two mothers or two fathers. These families are usually started by one parent who “came out” as lesbian or gay after divorcing a husband or wife. Additionally, blended families, which consist of one parent who remarried and the step-parent adopted the child or children that way, through artificial insemination and surrogacy, and there are couples who adopt children from the foster care system and adoption agencies (Thompson 39-40).
The number of gay and lesbian couples who have children, whether adopted or biological, is unknown. Information from existing research shows that there are gay and lesbian couples who are raising children across more than ninety-six percent of the United States’ counties and there are more than a quarter of a million children who are being raised by gay and lesbian parents (Driscoll and Stingl). There is an even larger number of single gays and lesbians who are raising children across the country, and the number of single parents is are not even included in the research conducted on families headed by gays and lesbians (Gilgoff).
The youngest generation, consisting of those between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine, are more accepting of gay adoption while the oldest generation, consisting of those over the age of sixty-five, are least accepting of gay adoption. Those who are opposed to gay adoption consider the acceptance of gay adoption by the youngest generation to be an “erosion of traditional cultural values” (Chittom and Wagner).
Same-sex couples do not raise their children any differently than heterosexual couples raise their children. Throughout the adoptive child’s life, the adoptive parents must...