This study has received a lot of attention in the past week. It
compared at risk children adopted at the age of 4 by heterosexual
and gay and lesbian couples after several years of adoption.
Only 19 states and very few countries allow gay and lesbian
couples to adopt. With over one hundred million children in need
of forever families this gives pause to think. Should same sex
couples be allowed to adopt?
By Lindsay Abrams
Adoption is an effective intervention for at-risk kids, and this
holds true for those placed with gay and lesbian parents.
PROBLEM:Should we allow highly at-risk children in the foster
care system who are in need of homes and loving families to be
adopted by homosexual couples? The quick answer is "yes," but
it's always good to have some science to back that up.
METHODOLOGY:This is the first study to compare children who were
adopted out of foster care by gay men, lesbian women, and
heterosexual couples, and to track their progress over time,
explains lead author Justin Lavner, a doctoral candidate at UCLA.
The researchers followed 82 children in Los Angeles County -- 22
of whom were adopted by homosexual parents at the average age of
4 -- and evaluated them after two months, one year, and two years
after they were placed with their adoptive families.
While studies have previously been done in which children who
were adopted by gay parents as infants, the children followed
here started out with a number of biological and environmental
risk factors acting against them -- like premature birth,
prenatal substance exposure, and abuse or neglect -- which the
researchers identified from public records.
RESULTS:Children in all three types of households benefited from
adoption: on average, they made significant gains in cognitive
development -- their IQ scores increased by an average of 10
points -- and they maintained stable levels of behavior problems.
What's more, the kids adopted by gay and lesbian parents actually
started out with more risk factors, and were more likely to be of
a different ethnicity than their adoptive parents, but after two
years were on equal footing with their heterosexually-adopted
CONCLUSION:Co-author Letitia Anne Peplau put it succintly: "There
is no scientific basis to discriminate against gay and lesbian
IMPLICATONS:Over 100,000 foster children in the U.S. are in need
of homes. A potential 2 million homosexual couples are interested
in adopting, according to a 2007 study. Only 19 states (and the
District of Columbia) allow gay couples to adopt. Even in states
where it is legal, added Lavner, discrimination against gay
parents makes them less likely to pursue adoption. The numbers --
and now the scientific evidence -- speak for themselves.
The full study, "Can Gay and Lesbian Parents Promote Healthy
Development in High-Risk Children Adopted From Foster Care?" is
published in theAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
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Ukrainian Adoption 101:
Conversation On International Adoption: Opportunity, Process,
Concerns and Questions
Monday, November 12, 2012 6:00-7:00PM
Location: Califon Book Store: 72 Main Street, Califon, New Jersey
Ukrainian Adoption Information Meeting
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00-8:00PM
Location: Wellness Rocks: 133 Rupell Road, Clinton, New Jersey