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Australian Government study finds kids with gay parents do as well as those with straight parents

A new review of research by the Australian Government’s Institute of Family Studies has found that kids who are being brought up in families headed by gays and lesbians do as well as their heterosexually parented peers
Swinburne University of Technology's Advanced Technologies Center
Photo by Paul Jones

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released a report on the well being of children raised by gays and lesbians and found they did just as well as those raised by heterosexual men and women.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is the Australian Government's key research body in the area of family well being and provides an evidence base for developing policy supportive of the well being of families in Australia.

The report was authored by Dr Deborah Dempsey - a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology.

‘Research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children,’ the report found.

‘Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual couple families.’

‘Some researchers have concluded there are benefits for children raised by lesbian couples in that they experience higher quality parenting, sons display greater gender flexibility, and sons and daughters display more open-mindedness towards sexual, gender and family diversity,’ the report found.

However the report suggested that more could be done by the Australian Government to support gays and lesbians who are parents.

‘There is evidence that more could be done to develop policies and practices supportive of same-sex parented families in the Australian health, education, child protection and foster care systems,’ the report found.

According to the report about 11% of Australian gay men and 33% of lesbians are raising children.

Campaigners for same-sex marriage in Australia said the report had shot down the main argument used by opponent of the reform.

‘The main argument against marriage equality - that children do best with a father and a mother - has been blown out of the water,’ Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said.

‘It's clear from this report that love is what makes a difference to children's outcomes, not parental gender. There is now no excuse to refuse those children being raised by same-sex couples the benefits of having married parents.’

Read the report here

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