As scholars investigate complex family system, the research on how partners work together to parent children increases. Coparenting is a unique component in a family relationship where parents function on a continuum between working together and struggling against each to make parental decisions. Historically, traditional coparenting referred to the collaboration between a man and a woman to raise their children. However, important social changes have led to other forms of coparenting in families.
Parenting for gay and lesbian couples is becoming more common today than ever before. As the United States becomes more accepting of gay and lesbian rights, homosexual couples are building families of their own that include children. Many people believe gay and lesbian couples raising children are not a fit environment for children. However, research suggests child outcomes are the same for gay and lesbian parents and heterosexual parents. Coparenting between gay and lesbian couples does however have it's own characteristics.
Gay and Lesbian families can choose from several paths to become parents. Some families are created when one member of the couple brings children from a previous heterosexual relationship. Most children of same-sex couples are biological children of one of the parents. However, a growing number of children are the result of various processes that now available to couples that include donor insemination, surrogacy, foster care and adoption.
Donor insemination involves a man donating sperm so a woman can be inseminated. Donor insemination can be performed using sperm from someone they know or from a fertility clinic from an anonymous donor. It can be performed within a fertility clinic or home environment using a home insemination kit. If a woman is inseminated from an anonymous donor at a fertility clinic, the donor father has no legal or financial obligations to the child. With home insemination, the male donor, whether he's a friend or anonymous, may be identified as the child's legal father and therefore has parental rights. This is dependent upon whether you are single, married or within a civil partnership. Legal advice may be necessary when lesbian couples choose this option (Demian, 2011).
Surrogacy is an option for gay men and gay couples wanting to be parents. Surrogacy is where another woman carries the baby for a couple who can’t have a child themselves. Either the surrogates own eggs or those of an egg donor can be fertilized by the man’s sperm. As with women and donor issues, the men need to consider the fact that only one parent is the biological father. If a break up in the relationship were to happen, courts may deny the non-biological parent parental rights (Demian, 2011).
Foster parenting is another option for gay and lesbian couples. Most states do not take a position on whether or not gay and lesbian couples are seen as fit foster parents. It is usually left up to child welfare...