Peculiarities of parenting at LGBT families
The number of lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families is rapidly increasing particularly in the United States of America. In 2000, American census data revealed that there are approximately 63000 LGBT families. In 2012, the number increased to more than 110 000 families. Parenting in LGBT families is different from heterogeneous parenting. Although there are a few similar challenges that face both heterogeneous and LGBT challenges such as teaching open communication, monitoring children’s extracurricular activities and setting limits. LGBT parenting face more complex and peculiar situations compared to heterogeneous parenting.
Unlike most heterogeneous marriages that get children through childbirth. LGBT families get children mostly through adoption, surrogacy, donor insemination, and children from former heterosexual relationships.
LGBT parents face a lot of discrimination, stereotypes and homophobic attitudes. Most of them are not able to expose their sexual orientation and gender status for fear of losing employment, and child custody. These negative notions about same-sex parents may reflect on their children, and the children may end up being discriminated against just like their parents. This makes it hard for LGBT parents to explain to their children, friends, and teachers about their sexuality.
Some socialists argue that LGBT parenting is likely to affect the moral values of a child. Most religious beliefs support heterogeneous marriages. Same-sex marriages are against religious teachings and children raised in such settings can end up emulating their parents. LGBT parents also face losing children’s custody whenever the issue of their gender status and sexual orientation is raised in court. This may portray a parent’s inability to take care of a child and possible abuse by non-biological parents. Some people view same-sex partners as sex predators who can sexually abuse children.
Given that most children in LGBT families are from previous heterosexual relationships. Co-parenting complexities may arise, particularly, if the former partners and extended family members are not in support of same-sex marriages. Also, competent child parenting may be affected by both internalized homophobia and external homophobia. The number of therapists specializing in counseling LGBT partners on matters of discrimination and homophobic beliefs has increased. This proves that same-sex marriages are majorly affected by notions and attitudes of society.
LGBT parenting is no doubt challenging given that society has not yet accepted the practice. Nuclear families with parents from both genders and children are viewed as the best families. Same-sex marriages break the norms of traditional families and gender roles. They are faced with peculiarities and challenges that most heterogeneous families don’t face.
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