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Two thirds of gay dads face discrimination, says survey

Ella Braidwood January 15, 2019
A dad and child, representing two thirds of gay dads saying they face stigma in a new survey

A child, from her father's shoulder, looks at people celebrating the US Supreme Court's historic decision on same sex marriage during a rally outside the Stonewall Tavern in the West Village in New York on June 26, 2015. The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26, that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. The nation's highest court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, said the US Constitution requires all states to carry out and recognize marriage between people of the same sex. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly two thirds of gay dads report facing stigma for parenting a child, according to new research.

The new survey—carried out by researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics—found that 63.5 percent of respondents reported that they had experienced stigma because of being a gay father.

The research, published this month, also revealed that almost half of those surveyed (51 percent) had avoided certain situations “for fear of stigma” in the past year.

One quarter of gay dads face stigma from family members

The survey received responses from 732 gay dads from 47 states in the US.

And about one quarter of gay dads surveyed said they had faced discrimination from family members, neighbours, waiters—as well as from gay friends.

Gay dads
Two gay dads and their baby born using a surrogate in Nepal. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

“Respondents reported barriers to becoming a father and stigma associated with fatherhood in multiple social contexts, most often in religious institutions,” the abstract for the survey reads.

“Fewer barriers and less stigma were experienced by fathers living in states with more legal protections.”

“Respondents reported barriers to becoming a father and stigma associated with fatherhood in multiple social contexts, most often in religious institutions.”

—The abstract for the survey reads

It continues: “Despite growing acceptance of parenting by same-gender adults, barriers and stigma persist.”

Researchers also examined the methods gay dads are using to have children, including via a surrogate mother, and the impact of anti-discrimination laws.

Research shows children are just as happy with gay parents

In July, a study put an anti-gay myth to bed by proving that there is no difference between kids raised by same-sex couples and kids raised by straight couples.

The findings, published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that children of lesbian couples conceived through sperm donation were no more likely to have physical or emotional problems than the children of straight couples.

Researchers compared a group of twenty-five year-olds who had all been raised by same-sex couples to a sample of typical US twenty-five year-olds matched on sex, class, gender and ethnic background.

They found that the cohort raised by same-sex couples were just as happy in their relationships with their friends and family as those raised by straight couples.

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