From the "not that those of us here needed proof, but it's good to have" files, a new study
from the University of Virginia has found that the adoptive children of same-sex parents were on average "developing in typical ways."
"We found that children adopted by lesbian and gay couples are thriving," said U.Va. psychology professor Charlotte J. Patterson, who led the study. Her research used standard child-development assessment questionnaires to evaluate a sample of 106 preschool-age children across the country who had been adopted at birth by same- or opposite-sex couples. She found that whether or not the children were well adjusted and developing in positive ways was unrelated to the sexual orientation of their adoptive parents.
Patterson's work supports that of Drs. Nanette Gartrell and Henny Bos, whose National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS)
has looked at biological children of lesbian parents, and Dr. Abbie Goldberg, whose research covers both biological and adoptive parents. (Goldberg's book, Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children
, compiles and synthesizes decades of research by herself and others.) All of the researchers conclude that children of same-sex parents are as well adjusted as any others—the NLLFS and Goldberg even found they may have advantages in some areas. (We should be careful not to take that too far
Patterson' study also concludes what many other studies have found—but it bears repeating (my emphasis): "Regardless of their parents' sexual orientation, how well children were adjusted was significantly associated with how warmly their parents were oriented to them
That may be obvious to us, but to the courts that rely on these kinds of studies (e.g.
, the federal trial to determine the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, or the trial to determine whether to overrule Florida's ban on adoption by gay men and lesbians), such studies are critical evidence. In a perfect world, however, everyone would be saying "duh" along with us.
The results appear in the August issue of the journal Applied Developmental Science