Being a father is one of the greatest privileges in life, and more and more men are turning to adoption and surrogacy to start their families.
Gay parents are no longer a novelty. Fact is, for more than 25 years gay and lesbian couples have been raising smart, loved and well-rounded children. We see them strolling down the street, participating in PTA meetings, and, perhaps most notably, appearing on our TV screens: Mitchell and Cam, fathers to Lily in the award-winning TV series Modern Family, come to mind.
And yes, Hollywood examples are important in that they’ve helped to present gay parenting as not unlike straight parenting: challenging, complicated, joyful, and most of all, normal. Turns out that although heterosexual parenting may be the norm, the alternative is by no means undesirable.
In-depth studies carried out by Cambridge University into the experiences of adoptive families headed by same sex couples, found that children adopted by lesbian or gay couples are just as likely to thrive as those adopted by heterosexual couples. Most researchers overwhelmingly agree that the sexual orientation of the parents have no negative effects that would prevent a child from growing up well-adjusted and happy. It’s far more likely to raise them as open-minded and caring individuals free to define their own sexuality and roles in society without the role of gender expectation weighing down on them. It’s really all about good parenting; the ability to nurture and love a child is not dependent on gender.
Parenting is hard work and when you’re gay parents, the hurdles are even higher. Not all of society has embraced same-sex marriages and the kids that are raised in these families are often subject to discrimination and will have to learn how to cope with the prejudice of others.
So, be open about your sexual orientation with your kids, teachers and day care providers; there’s no need to go into details but supplying them with this information can help them to support your child in situations with classroom bullies. Live an authentic life. You’re not promoting the gay agenda by having your same-sex partner accompany you to parent-teacher conferences and other activities involving your kids, you’re demonstrating that the two of you are fully committed and involved in your kids’ lives. Be open about your sexual preference with the parents of your children’s friends and accept that some may not be as accepting as others.
Same-sex parents often disagree on how to prepare kids for the bullying they may receive as a result of having two dads. Some parents prefer to be pro-active while others prefer to wait until a problem appears. There’s no right answer here. BUT, what’s important is to let kids know that they can voice their questions and concerns without hurting or offending their dads. Explain to them that parents might look different, but they’re all trying to do the same thing: to love and care for their kids so they can grow up healthy and happy. Let them know that they are not more likely to be gay just because you are, and respect their wishes if they don’t want to tell all of their classmates.
So, bottom line dads, all that matters are that they’re loved. After all, love is love.
Keep up the good work fellas!
Source: theconversation.com, newdirectionfamilylaw.com, kidshealth.org, www.babymed.com, www.brennanfamilylaw.com, blog.gaydar.net, www.ru.ac.za, www.stonewall.org.uk, www.news24.com, www.livescience.com, www.psychologytoday.com, www.creatingfamilies.com, www.cam.ac.uk, www.mambaonline.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.newnownext.com, www.fatherly.com
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