Children of lesbian and gay parents: psychology, law, and policy

Am Psychol. 2009 Nov;64(8):727-36. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.64.8.727.


Legal and policy questions relevant to the lives of lesbian and gay parents and their children have recently been subjects of vigorous debate. Among the issues for which psychological research has been seen as particularly relevant are questions regarding child custody after divorce, same-sex marriage, adoption, and foster care. This article provides an overview of the current legal terrain for lesbian and gay parents and their children in the United States today, an overview of relevant social science research, and some commentary on the interface between the two. It is concluded that research findings on lesbian and gay parents and their children provide no warrant for legal discrimination against these families.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Custody / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child Development*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Prejudice
  • Public Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States