Being raised by a same-sex couple is no hindrance to healthy psychological development, researchers say as the first generation of children conceived by lesbians through donor insemination is coming of age.
In fact, lesbian mothers rated their 17-year-olds higher in social and academic skills, and lower in rule-breaking and aggression, than did mothers of teenagers who also had a father.
The study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, is the first to follow children of lesbian couples all the way from conception to adolescence.
"There are so many places in the United States where same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt or foster children in need," said Dr. Nanette Gartrell of the University of California, San Francisco, who started the so-called US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study in 1986.
While opponents of same-sex parenting often mention cultural or religious values, some also contend that growing up with two moms or two dads can't be healthy for the child, said Gartrell.
But there isn't any solid evidence that homosexual parenting is any worse or better than its conventional counterpart, according to Gartrell, who is in a same-sex partnership.
"There is not a single study that has shown there are any problems in terms of psychological adjustment" of the child, she said. "The things we know that make for good parenting are love, resources and being very involved in your child's life."Read more: