Children adopted by gay or lesbian parents develop as well as those adopted by heterosexual couples, a new study has found.
Researchers looked at 106 adoptive preschool-age children living in different parts of the United States and found that all were developing well, regardless of whether their parents were gay, lesbian or heterosexual. In addition, whether or not children were developing in positive ways was associated with how warmly their adoptive parents treated them, not their parents' sexual orientation.
All of the children in the study had been adopted at birth, according to the report published in the journal Applied Developmental Science.
"We found that children adopted by lesbian and gay couples are thriving," study leader Charlotte J. Patterson, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, said in a university news release.
"Our results provide no justification for denying lesbian or gay prospective adoptive parents the opportunity to adopt children. With thousands of children in need of permanent homes in the United States alone, our findings suggest that outreach to lesbian and gay prospective adoptive parents might benefit children who are in need," she added.
Adoption of children by same-sex couples is controversial in the United States, and some states (Florida, Mississippi and Utah) prohibit adoption by same-sex couples. In recent years, a number of other states have debated proposals to prohibit adoptions by same-sex couples. (July 2010)
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