A study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting found no difference between gay and heterosexual dads when it comes to parenting behaviours and assessment of their children’s well-being.
The U.S. study compared questionnaire responses of 732 gay dads living in 47 different states to those of straight dads in the 2006-2010 National Survey on Family Growth.
88 per cent of gay dads said it was "not true" that their child is unhappy or depressed, while 87 per cent of the straight dads said the same of their children.
Despite positive outcomes for gay dads, differences were found when comparing outside judgment.
Meanwhile, 75 per cent of the straight population said their child “does not worry a lot,” compared to the 72 per cent of gay dads who confirmed the same outcome.
“Our data add to those of other investigators showing that children of same-sex parents do as well in every way as children whose parents are heterosexual,” said Ellen C. Perrin of Tufts University.
Researchers also found gay dads reported engaging in activities such as “reading, feeding, and going on outings” with their kids as often as straight dads.
“Our data add to those of other investigators showing that children of same-sex parents do as well in every way as children whose parents are heterosexual."
Despite positive outcomes for gay dads, differences were found when comparing outside judgment, with those surveyed reporting stigma and discrimination as problems. 33 per cent reported difficulties receiving shared custody of their kids, while 41 per cent had issues while trying to adopt.
"Because stigma continues to interfere with the efforts of gay men to become parents and with the lives of gay men and their children, our research underscores the need for social and legal protections for families headed by same-sex parents,” Perrin said.