The Evolution of the Modern Family
Deciding to start or expand a family is a big step – no matter your situation. But, as a member of the LGBTQ community, you know that you have to consider variables that other would-be parents don’t have to entertain. You and your partner have probably had at least a few conversations about the pros and cons of adoption versus a sperm or egg donor.
You may have spent a few sleepless nights worrying about what kind of reception your child would have at school or amongst their peers. But first and foremost on your mind is probably one burning question – will we have to do it alone?
Parenting is as scary as it is rewarding. In fact, Jill Smokler accurately described parenting when she said, “Being a parent is dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It’s everything.”
When you decide to have kids, you sign a piece of your heart away, and no one can guarantee that your precious babies won’t face bullies, skinned knees, and intolerant teachers. But, there is one thing you can be very sure of – you’re not alone. You’re in very good company. The modern family has changed, and more gay people are fulfilling their desires of parenthood today than ever before.
Trends in LGBT Family Growth
According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, an estimated 37% of LGBT-identified adults have had a child. As of 2010, there were about three million American LGBT parents and six million Americans with at least one LGBT parent. Nearly half of LGBT women and a fifth of LGBT men in 2010 were raising a child. The 2010 United States Census also indicated that same-sex households had increased by 80% from 2000 to 2010.
All kids have to learn at least some lessons the hard way. Fortunately, LGBT parents can take comfort in research conducted by the American Psychological Association, which found that children of gay parents fair about the same as those of straight parents when it comes to gender identity, sexuality, and general well being. No matter how you choose to become parents, once you have a little one, you’ll find something new to worry about every day! Find a positive way to handle that worry, and you’ll be a better parent for it.
It’s possible that you and your partner will be the only LGBT parents at your child’s school or Boy Scout troop, but it’s not likely that you will be the only LGBT parents in your region or even your community.
Talking to your children about having gay parents is the first step in preparing them for the ever changing view on LGBT families in today’s society. By connecting with other LGBT parents, you’ll develop a support group that will equip you and your children to handle the rough parts of growing up.
With a little support from your community and a lot of love for your child, your family will be a positive addition to a modern community where diversity is welcome!