Lesbian & Gay Parenting

Introduction

The publication is provided for the use of clinicians, researchers, students, lawyers, and parents involved in legal and policy issues related to lesbian and gay parenting. Lesbian and Gay Parenting is the successor to Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for Psychologists (1995).

It is divided into three parts.

  • Part I is a summary of research findings on lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children written by Charlotte J. Patterson, PhD.

  • Part II is an annotated bibliography of the literature cited in the summary.

  • Part III provides some additional resources relevant to lesbian and gay parenting in the forensic context: APA amicus briefs, professional association policies, and contact information for relevant organizations.

Preface

Lesbian and Gay Parenting is a joint publication of APA's:

The previous edition, which was titled Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for Psychologists (1995) was the successor to a publication titled Lesbian Parents and Their Children: A Resource Paper for Psychologists that was jointly produced by CLGBC and CWP in 1991.

The 1991 publication was narrowly focused on providing an orientation to the research literature for psychologists doing child custody evaluations or giving expert testimony in court cases involving lesbian mothers. In addition, the publication was also targeted for lawyers and parties in parental rights cases involving lesbian parents, as the information provided could assist them in being better informed about the potential role of psychological research or psychological witnesses in their cases. The relatively narrow focus of this publication was selected because the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns Office received a significant number of requests for resources on the relevant research literature from parents, lawyers, and psychologists involved in parental rights cases.

When CLGBC and CWP decided to revise and update the publication in 1993, they invited CYF to participate in the development of the new edition. The committees broadened the focus of the publication to include the empirical research on gay fathers, as well as lesbian mothers, and the clinical literature relevant to psychological services for lesbian and gay parents, their children, and their families.

When the current edition was first planned in 1999, the committees decided that the focus of the publication should be narrowed again to serve the needs of psychologists, lawyers, and parties in family law cases. The decision to narrow the focus was made because the need for the publication seemed to be primarily in the forensic context.

Lesbian and Gay Parenting is divided into three parts.

  • Part I is a summary of research findings on lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children. Although comprehensive, the research summary is focused on those issues that often arise in family law cases involving lesbian mothers or gay fathers.

  • Part II is an annotated bibliography of the literature cited in Part I.

  • Part III provides some additional resources relevant to lesbian and gay parenting in the forensic context: APA amicus briefs, professional association policies, and contact information for relevant organizations.

We hope the publication will be useful to clinicians, researchers, students, lawyers, and parents involved in legal and policy issues related to lesbian and gay parenting.

Our grateful acknowledgements to Charlotte Patterson for contributing the summary of research findings; to Mary Ballou, Ed Dunne, Susan Iasenza, Steven James (CLGBC), Linda Jones, Bianca Cody Murphy (CWP), Gary Ross Reynolds (CLGBC), Lourdes Rodríques-Nogués (CLGBC), William Sanchez (CYF), and Ena Vazquez-Nuttal (CYF), for assistance in compiling the bibliography for the previous edition and writing the annotations; and to Natalie Eldridge, Patricia Falk, Mary Clare, Lawrence Kurdek, April Martin, Royce Scrivner, Andy Benjamin, Beverly Greene (CLGBC), and Laura Brown for reviewing the manuscript. We also thank Helen Supranova, Andrea Solarz, and Jessica Gehle for their work on the bibliography. We gratefully acknowledge the APA staff liaisons to our committees, Mary Campbell (CYF), Gwendolyn Keita (CWP), and Leslie Cameron (CWP); their assistants, Charlene DeLong and Gabriel Twose, and the APA publications staff members Joanne Zaslow, Editorial and Design Services, and Stevie Wilson. We especially thank Clinton Anderson, Director, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns Office, who worked diligently with committee members and staff to move this manuscript toward publication.

Gary W. Harper, PhD, MPH
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns

Robin A. Buhrke, PhD, Sari H. Dworkin, PhD, and Louise B. Silverstein, PhD
Committee on Women in Psychology

Beth Doll, PhD
Committee on Children, Youth, and Families


I wish particularly to thank Clinton Anderson for his invaluable assistance with the current version as well as with earlier versions of this manuscript. I also offer warm thanks to Natalie Eldridge, Patricia Falk, Mary Clare, Larry Kurdek, April Martin, Vera Paster, and Roy Scrivner for their helpful comments on the first version of this manuscript and to the anonymous reviewers for their insightful help in updating the current version.

Charlotte J. Patterson, PhD
Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Summary of Research Findings


Photos used in Lesbian and Gay Parenting are courtesy of Family Diversity Projects © Gigi Kaeser from the traveling photo-text exhibit and book, LOVE MAKES A FAMILY: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Their Families.