Studies show that qualities that make good fathers are not related to sexual orientation or gender. Factors that affect children's positive development and wellbeing include strong family relationships and the family's social and economic resources. The risk factors associated with children's healthy development and adult outcomes include poverty, parental depression, parental substance abuse, divorce and domestic violence.
Gay Dads Wellbeing
Studies of gay fathers reveal that gay dads are more likely to have higher self-esteem than gay men who are not parents. Studies show evidence that parenthood for gay men brings great personal fulfillment and greater connectedness to their own parents and other family members.
Children's Wellbeing in Gay Families
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) at the University of Melbourne is the first study in Australia that considers the health and wellbeing of children in same-sex parented families. Self-report data on 500 children aged 0-17 was collected from 315 LGBT parents using the Child Health Questionnaire and the Infant and Toddler Quality of Life questionnaire. The preliminary findings of this study is as follows. Children aged 5-17 in same-sex parented families scored higher on measures of general health and family cohesion than Australian children from all other backgrounds and family contexts. No statistically significant differences were found for all other health measures, which indicates that Australian children are developing well in same-sex parented families.
While same-sex parented families appear to get adequate support from their health care providers, evidence shows that further policies and practices could be developed to support same-sex parented families in Australian health, education, child protection, child protection and foster care systems.
- Same-sex Parented Families in Australia -721 KB
Research paper based on Australian and international literature on same-sex parented families with emphasis on children's wellbeing.