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Father's Day

Gay Dads are Dads too - Time passes: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Dad with a baby carriage (but not if you're in a gay partnership). However, this is gradually changing and the kids are doing just fine.

Adoption agencies understandably want to know if the children they place with homosexual couples are doing as well as those placed with heterosexuals. This is important because not only do gay couples want to adopt, there are many special needs children and older children who are unlikely to ever find families otherwise.

But there are still many agencies that will not place children with a gay family, so many of them are turning to surrogates. The first study ever to examine the experiences of gay male partners who became fathers via surrogacy shows that they are more likely than heterosexual fathers to scale back their careers in order to care for their children. Also, these fathers report that their self-esteem and their closeness with their extended families increases after becoming parents.

In most respects, life changes resulting from parenthood were very much like those experienced by heterosexual couples: closer relations with co-workers, a transition away from single friends toward other couples (straight and gay) with children, and less time for sleep, exercise, and hobbies. In other words, they're typical dads. One of the notable findings was that having a child significantly improved the gay fathers' self esteem. Nearly all said having a child "makes me feel good about myself" and that their self-esteem had improved since being a parent. Although their reported spirituality had not changed significantly, more of the new parents reported they were attending religious services since adding a child to their family.

Psychologist Robert-Jay Green says, "Our findings reinforce the growing research evidence that the sexual orientation of the parents makes little difference in parenting. At this early stage of child development, the infant's or toddler's needs drive the family interactions and structure the couples' relationships with friends and relatives. This is as it should be. Gay couples are making major accommodations in their lives just like their heterosexual counterparts who become parents."

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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