A new study shows that the children of gay dads born, through surrogacy, tend to be more well-adjusted than the kids of straight couples who conceived them naturally — a point in favor of the LGBTQ community, which has recently seen an upsurge in discrimination and attacks.
Researchers from Belgium, Italy and California examined 67 European families of gay men and compared them to 67 European heterosexual couples, as detailed in the study published in the journal Family Process, with both cohorts having children between the ages of 1.5 to 10 years old.
The families with same-sex parents achieved parenthood through gestational surrogacy, in which an embryologist takes a donated egg, fertilizes it with sperm, and implants it in the womb of a woman who is not related to the child. Children in the study had to be related to one of their gay dads in order for the families to participate.
The researchers looked at the families' parenting styles, any child behaviorial issues, how families shared tasks, and how satisfied the parents were in the relationship. For families headed by gay dads in particular, they looked at the impact of homophobic microaggressions, interactions with relatives and friends, and support from the larger community.
Families filled out a questionnaire consisting of several established surveys. One such survey used is a child behavior checklist used for gauging children's "internalizing and externalizing problems," which are defined as depression or anxiety for internalizing issues while externalizing behavior includes aggression and rulebreaking.
After crunching the numbers from the questionnaire, the researchers saw that gay dads had better behaved and happier children compared to the children of straight couples. In addition, gay men "reported greater positive coparenting, more equal sharing of childcare tasks, and greater satisfaction with task sharing, compared to heterosexual parents," the researchers write in the study. They also tended to be happier in their relationships as well.
However, the researchers uncovered that when the children of gay couples encountered homophobic microaggressions, they tended to have more internalized issues.
In a nutshell, kids being raised by partnered gay dads in stable families are doing just fine — and are actually more well-adjusted than kids in straight families, which in a rational world would throw a bucket of cold water on government officials intent on erasing gay life from the public square. If anything, anti-LGBTQ policies and discrimination clearly hurt the children of gay couples.
The study is also a forceful rebuttal against people who either want to ban or criminalize the practice of gestational surrogacy, such as in Italy, where conservatives want to fine and jail couples who conceive children via this process — a reprehensible idea that impacts not just gay couples but also heterosexuals who can't conceive naturally.
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