Gay Parents Are Growing

The Next Family

By: Shannon Ralph

New studies show that, as gay parents are growing as a demographic group, more and more Americans are beginning to see gay parenting as, well, parenting.

According to UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, of the almost 800,000 gay couples in the United States, about twenty percent are raising children. In raw numbers, that equates to more than 270,000 children being raised in LGBT households. Gay adoption is also growing, despite significant legal barriers in some states. The Williams Institute’s figure shows that 19 percent of gay households raising children include at least one adopted child. This is up from 8 percent in 2000. Much of that growth may be attributed to more partnerships between adoption advocates and the gay community.

As gay parents are growing in numbers, American attitudes toward them are becoming rather blasé. Many more people are realizing that there is little difference between same-sex and hetero parents. A  Pew Research Study survey released this year reported that 48 percent of respondents said same-sex parenting didn’t make much difference to society. Fourteen percent of respondents noted that same-sex marriage is “good for society.” Only thirty-five percent responded that it was “bad for society” when a same-sex couple raises a child. This is down from fifty percent in 2007.

I never thought I would applaud the American populace for feeling “blasé” about me, but in this particular instance, I will take it. Blasé means that Americans are becoming less afraid of people who they perceive to be different from themselves. More progressive. More open to diversity. More prone to cultivating an attitude of “we” in regards to parenting, rather than “us” and “them.” In the end, that is beneficial to all families, and to society as a whole. So I welcome blasé with open arms. Bring it on!

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[Photo Credit: SFBart]

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