Planned lesbian families: their desire and motivation to have children

Hum Reprod. 2003 Oct;18(10):2216-24. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deg427.

Abstract

Background: There is no information about the desire and motivation for children among planned lesbian families. The overall aim of this research was to examine whether planned lesbian families differ from heterosexual families in desire and motivation to have a child. The reason for studying this is that desire and motivation to have children are characteristics that are supposed to effect parenting and the parent-child relationship.

Methods: A total of 100 lesbian two-mother families were compared with 100 heterosexual families. All data were collected by means of questionnaires.

Results: Lesbian parents and heterosexual parents rank their parenthood quite similarly; however, happiness is significantly more important for lesbian mothers than it is for heterosexual parents and identity development is less important for lesbian mothers than it is for heterosexual parents. Furthermore, compared with heterosexual parents, lesbian parents had spent more time thinking about their motives for having children, and their desire to have a child was stronger.

Conclusions: Lesbian parents especially differ from heterosexual parents in that their desire to have a child is much stronger. The study's findings may be helpful for counsellors in their work to inform and assist lesbian couples in their decision to have a child.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Motivation*