by Madalina Olteanu, Bucharest

by Madalina Olteanu, Bucharest

LGBT parenting - why and why not

22 Mar, 2019

by Madalina Olteanu, Bucharest

The criticism regarding LGBT parents has always been present within our society, stirring up controversy in most states of the world. This is one of the cases where the fact that people still place great importance on outdated traditions is to everyone’s disadvantage.

Legal obstacles

It is no secret that children in foster care will always have less chances of becoming functional citizens, since they don’t grow up in an environment suitable for healthy development. However, people are still prejudiced enough to deprive children of their opportunity of growing up with someone to love and care for them. Laws for the right of agencies to refuse adoption for same-sex parents passed in states such as Kansas, Alabama and Texas on the grounds of religious beliefs.

Research backfire

But could it actually make any sense? People say that children in LGBT families don’t benefit from a regular childhood, or that are actually in danger. In order to assess this, several studies have been conducted. The Medical Journal of Australia published one which showed that children who grow up with same-sex parents lead lives as normal as those of children who grow up with heterosexual parents. The Australian Institute of Family Studies also researched this in 2013 and concluded that there was no downside of it, along with the 2014 study of the American Sociological Association.

If anything, studies could only show what the advantages are – three economists from the Belgian University KU Leuven tracked data regarding all children born in the Netherlands since 1995. According to the results, children from same-sex couples had better scores in tests and were more likely to graduate by 6.7%. Having to raise to certain adoption standards or having to pay for fertility treatments proves a certain desire to have a child, which is why these parents may be more eager to make sure that their kids will have a bright, secure future.

LGBT adoption-friendly countries

The first country to be open about same-sex parenthood was the Netherlands, which legalized it in 2001, but there are entire continents which disagree with the concept. For instance, in Asia, the only country which allows same-sex parenthood is Israel. And it’s understandable why it was seen as a good thing – given the obstacles one has to face when it comes to LGBT adoption, it is necessary for those couples to have a higher stability and to be able to offer a proper environment for growth.

Dangers of same-sex parenting

However, there are, indeed, disadvantages as well – children from same-sex couples are exposed to anxiety and behavioral issues, generated by the bullying they have to face about having same-sex parents. When you’re being looked down on and discriminated for something you didn’t choose (even if we’re talking about heterosexual or LGBT families), your mental health will suffer in the long run.

Therefore, the only problem standing in the way of a happy childhood for many children is prejudice. People have to become rational enough to realize that it is not the structure of the family that counts the most, but the quality of it. Parents should offer their children affection, financial support and should be preoccupied enough about their goals, education and aspirations – regardless of their gender.