New research has found that the children of gay dads conceived via surrogacy are happier and more well-adjusted than the children of heterosexual couples conceived naturally.
The study – published in early November in Family Process – examined 67 two-dad families and 67 families with heterosexual parents – all from Europe. All children in the study were between 1.5 and 10 years old, and for the gay families, all children were genetically related to one of their dads.
One gay male couple’s insurance company denied them coverage since. technically. they could successfully conceive with women.
Each family received a questionnaire that asked about child behavior, parenting style, co-parenting, and the couple’s relationship satisfaction. The two-dad families were also asked about experiencing anti-gay microaggressions and social support from family and friends.
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The results: “The children of gay fathers via surrogacy seem to function better, on average, than the children of heterosexual parents.” The study also found that gay fathers had “more effective parenting styles, greater coparenting quality, and higher couple relationship satisfaction” as compared to heterosexual parents.
The one caveat is that families who experienced anti-gay microaggressions “were associated with more child internalizing problems, lower positive coparenting, and lower social support from family and friends.” The authors recommended that family therapists should acknowledge the specific challenges the children of gay parents face and help them learn ways of coping.
Nevertheless, the study’s authors concluded that the results overall “refute concerns about possible detrimental effects on child development of surrogacy conception or of being raised by gay fathers.”
The authors also pointed out that surrogacy is still illegal in many European countries. In some places where the practice is legal, it is still banned for gay couples. Thus, gay European dads must often leave their home countries to seek out fertility services. The authors expressed the need for studies like this one to shed light on the fact that surrogacy is not harmful to children and families.
“Research on gay fathers via surrogacy is urgently needed to enlighten stakeholders creating legislation and regulation that negatively affect these families,” the study declared. They added, that “prohibitions against surrogacy for gay males seem entirely based on prejudice, with no basis in social science research.”