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New Analysis Looks at Same-Sex Parenting
March 1, 2012
by Bradley Osborn

In a new report on same-sex parenting, a UCLA researcher concluded that proportionally fewer same-sex couples are raising children now (16 percent), as compared to 2006 (19 percent). The researcher, Gary J. Gates, Ph.D., also noted that the racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity among these families is greater than commonly perceived.

The publication of Gates’ report, which was based on decennial and intermediate census data, was announced by the Williams Institute (williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu), an LGBT-focused think tank at the UCLA School of Law.

Gates speculates that the recent proportional decline in same-sex parenting could be due to fewer lesbian, gay and bisexual people having children in different-sex relationships before coming out. With growing societal acceptance of sexual minorities, the number of LGB people who stay closeted and opt for different-sex marriages is waning.

Analyses of data also show that adoptive parenting is increasing. The proportion of same-sex couples who have adopted children rose from 10 percent to 19 percent between 2000 and 2009. Same-sex adoptive couples are twice as likely to be white, college-educated and to have never been married before their current relationship.

Twenty percent of children raised by same-sex couples live in poverty, compared to only 9.4 percent of children being raised by different-sex married couples. Many same-sex parents live in states with limited or no legal protections for their families

Overall, the number of same-sex couples raising children has increased on paper, as more couples self-identify in census forms. Families led by same-sex parents were likely present in previous years, but there was no way to account for them.

For the full article published in the Family Focus section of the Winter 2011 (FF51) issue of the NCFR (National Council on Family Relations) Report, go to goo.gl/nE3hv.
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