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Q: I am a 32-year-old lesbian with a 34-year-old partner. We have been together for six years and are now considering having a child together (well, co-parenting a child). Do children of gay or lesbian parents seem to be at greater risk for emotional difficulties, and if so, how can we help our child deal with this? Since we have not yet had a child, we feel we need to really look at this issue.
A: You are wise to prepare in every way possible for your intended adoption. Contrary to this culture's popular belief, there is no body of scientific evidence to suggest that a child raised by two committed gay parents will have any more developmental or emotional problems than kids raised by heterosexual parents, a single heterosexual woman or a single heterosexual man. I have two superb resources for you that will address all the questions you may have about your intention to adopt and your creating a family: Read the book Lesbian Family: Effects On Child Development, by Tasker and Golombok. Also purchase or rent the film Choosing Children.
Thanks for writing and good luck with your adoption.
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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.