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Gay Parents


In many ways, gay fathers are similar to heterosexual fathers. Unique challenges for gay male parents arise from negative societal attitudes toward their intimate relationships, the methods they use to become parents, and the nature of their relationships with their children. Future research efforts should document multicultural and international perspectives, address institutionalized homonegativity that serves to perpetuate discrimination against gay male parents and their children, and provide public policy analyses that will end the discrimination against homosexual parents that effectively reduces the quality of social support they receive.


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Patterson, C. J., and Chan, R. W. (1996). "Gay Fathers and their Children." In Textbook of Homosexuality and Mental Health, ed. R. P. Cabaj and T. S. Stein. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press. Patterson, C. J.; Fulcher, M.; and Wainright, J. (2000). "Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents: Research, Law, and Policy." In Children and the Law: Social Science and Policy, ed. B. L. Bottoms, M. B. Kovera, and B. D. McAuliff. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsGay Parents - Gay Relationships And Legal Matters, Gay Fathers As A Distinct Group, Becoming Parents And Negotiating Parenthood