'Overwhelming' Evidence That Same-Sex Parenting Won't Harm Kids

'Overwhelming' Evidence That Same-Sex Parenting Won't Harm Kids

'Overwhelming' Evidence That Same-Sex Parenting Won't Harm Kids

Review of thousands of studies on the issue finds broad consensus among experts

SOURCES: Victor Fornari, M.D., director, division of child and adolescent psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y. and Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; University of Colorado Denver, news release, June 15, 2015

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There is no evidence that having same-sex parents harms children in any way, a new comprehensive review finds.

The well-being of children of same-sex couples was an issue the U.S. Supreme Court addressed in its landmark 5-4 ruling on Friday that upheld the legality of gay marriage.

"Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers, children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. "They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated to a more difficult and uncertain family life. The marriage laws at issue thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples."

In the new review, Jimi Adams, associate professor of health and behavioral studies at the University of Colorado Denver, said he wanted to find out if children suffered any disadvantages simply because their parents were of the same sex.

"As same-sex marriage has been debated in courts across the country, there has been the lingering question about the effects of same-sex parenting on children," Adams said in a university news release.

"I found overwhelming evidence that scientists agree that there is not a negative impact to children of same-sex couples," he said.

Adams' team analyzed data from thousands of studies on the issue. The data overwhelming found that children of same-sex parents do not differ from those of heterosexual or single parents on a range of social and behavioral outcomes.

According to the research, by 1990 a consensus between researchers on the issue began to emerge, and by 2000 "overwhelming" consensus had been reached that same-sex parenting does not harm children.

One expert in child mental health "applauded" the new research.

The issue "has been studied and the overwhelming evidence has supported this finding for the past 25 years," said Dr. Victor Fornari, who directs the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., and Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

The study findings were reported online recently in Social Science Research.

More information

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has more about same-sex parents and their children.

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