A leading expert says that children raised in same-sex families do just as well as children living with heterosexual parents.
Professor Sheila Greene, Co-director of the Children’s Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin, made the statement at the Marriage Matters for Lesbian and Gay People symposium in Dublin, which was organised by the National Gay and Lesbian Federation.
“Children within gay and lesbian families are not any more or less gay, they are not confused and they don’t suffer from mental health problems to any greater or lesser extent than children being reared by a biological mother and father.”
According to the Irish Examiner, she said that debates about who should and should not parent children must be informed by scientific evidence rather than unfounded assumptions, and sometimes biased beliefs, about children in lesbian and gay families.
But Prof Greene said being raised by lesbian and gay parents was not plain sailing and she urged parents to be aware of the challenges that their children might face:
“If children are teased because they wear glasses or because their parents were separated, it was reasonable to expect that children may be teased because of the sexual orientation of their parents”, She said.
“This will mean that children may have bad moments, like any others, not that they will be psychologically scarred or suffer from mental health problem. The important issue is that parents must be tuned into the needs of their children.”