In a European study of child outcomes, researchers evaluated the children born to gay couples through surrogacy and compared them to those born to heterosexual couples. The study participants included 67 gay couples who became parents via gestational surrogacy and 67 heterosexual couples who created their children naturally; the ages of the participants’ children were between 18 months to 10 years. The researchers discovered that children with gay fathers were happier and more well-behaved, showing externalizing problems, such as aggression and rule-breaking, at a rate of 4.58 compared to a rate of 10.30 with heterosexual parents, and showing internalizing problems, such as anxiety and depression, at a rate of 3.40 compared to 6.43. Further, the researchers reported that gay fathers had more effective parenting styles, greater co-parenting abilities, and higher relationship satisfaction than did heterosexual parents. The study also concluded that when children of homosexual couples had internalized issues, these issues resulted from encountering homophobic microaggressions. 

The data for this study was collected via email questionnaire that targeted parents who identified as the primary caregiver to their children. The questionnaire asked the parents to self-report about their parenting styles, behavioral issues, and relationship satisfaction. They were asked questions such as, “How often do you and your spouse disagree about how to respond to your child’s behavior?” and whether their child “looks unhappy for no good reason.” They also asked the participants to rate their satisfaction regarding the division of childcare tasks, and the amount of emotional support they felt they received from family and friends.

This study used the same dubious methodology of many other studies that claim to show “no difference” in the outcomes of children raised by same-sex parents compared to those raised by heterosexual parents, such as Reczek’s, “Family Structure and Child Health; Does the Sex Composition of Parents Matter?” and Wainright, Russell, and Patterson’s study on adolescents with same-sex parents. These biased studies utilized targeted samples by recruiting participants through networks of friends or through advocacy organizations, participants were aware that the purpose was to investigate same-sex parenting and their responses may have been biased with the aim of producing the desired result, and the samples were of fewer than forty children in same-sex headed households. A sample so small virtually guarantees results that would show no statistically significant differences between same-sex parenting and heterosexual parenting.

This research method potentially motivates gay fathers, who may feel social pressure to prove that their children are just as stable and well-adjusted as those in heterosexual families, to paint a rosier picture of their family dynamics than is warranted. Not only was this self-reporting questionnaire completed by the couples themselves, but they were recruited through European surrogacy agencies, fertility clinics, and LGBTQ+ family organizations. The authors reveal their own bias by stating that “prohibitions against surrogacy for gay males seem entirely based on prejudice, with no basis in social science research.” Regardless of what the authors perceived as reasons for prohibiting gay-male surrogacy, what we do know is that IVF and surrogacy are harmful to children. We know about intellectual and developmental risks to children conceived through IVF, and we know about the risk of primal wound through surrogacy. Maternal separation, a feature of surrogacy, is a major physiological stressor for the infant and even brief maternal deprivation can permanently alter the structure of the infant brain. Maternal separation can lead to an increase in stress hormones such as cortisol, causing decreased immune function, and causing malfunctions in the hippocampus that can lead to an increase in mental health problems such as schizophrenia, PTSD, autism, anxiety, and altered responses to pain, and learning difficulties such as ADD and memory and concentration difficulties. 

We also know through allowing children to speak out themselves, that kids struggle with the divorce and remarriage of their parents when the new spouse is someone of the opposite sex, and we know that kids orphaned or abandoned and subsequently adopted by opposite-sex parents tend to suffer lasting effects of losing their parents. Children born through gamete donation also struggle with a vague or nonexistent genetic identity (genealogical bewilderment) and a variety of externalizing disorders. Over eighty percent of donor-conceived children desire to know the identity of their biological fathers and/or mothers, and donor children disproportionately struggle with questions about their identity, depression, delinquency, and substance abuse. Children raised in same-sex homes are all either products of a divorce, they’re adopted, or they were donor-conceived. We’re expected to believe that these feelings of loss, abandonment, and identity struggles of kids in these demographics magically disappear when kids are raised by same-sex couples despite the fact they also have the added disadvantage of missing the gender-specific benefits that come with being raised by a mother and father. 

Sociologist Dr. Mark Regnerus, using rigorous scientific methodology, found very different results when studying outcomes for children of same-sex couples. As quoted by Dr. Richard P. Fitzgibbons, Dr. Regnerus “…found that young-adult children (ages 18–39) of parents who had same-sex relationships before the subjects had reached the age of 18 were more likely to suffer from a broad range of emotional and social problems. The study is noteworthy for several reasons: (1) his study sample was large, representative, and population-based (not a small, self-selected group); (2) Regnerus studied the responses of adult children rather than asking same-sex parents to describe how their young dependent children are doing; and (3) he was able to draw comparisons on up to 80 measures for children who had lived with (or had) parents who fell into one of eight categories—intact families with both biological parents who were married to each other, lesbian mothers, gay fathers, heterosexual single parents, parents who later divorced, cohabiting parents, parents who adopted the respondent, and other (such as a deceased parent). The children of lesbians and gays fared worse than those in intact heterosexual families on 77 of the 80 outcome measures.”

Sociologist Dr. Paul Sullins also collected data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which is one of the most exhaustive, expensive, and ongoing government research efforts undertaken to date. He identified and assessed twenty randomly selected children with same-sex parents culled from a pool of over 12,000 participants in order to get a random sample of outcomes for kids with same-sex parents. He found that children in same-sex headed households were likely to suffer emotional or behavioral difficulties at a rate of 9.3 percent, more than twice the 4.4 percent rate for children in dual-gender families, and they were also found to:

  • Experience “definite” or “severe” emotional problems at a rate of 14.9 percent versus 5.5 percent.
  • Suffer from ADHD at a rate of 15.5 percent versus 7.1 percent, struggle with learning disabilities at a rate of 14.1 percent versus 8 percent.
  • Receive special education and mental health services at a rate of 17.8 percent versus 10.4 percent.
  • Have higher rates of depression, above average negative interpersonal symptoms, and the number of children reporting daily fearfulness or crying is higher for children with unmarried opposite (4.4%) and same-sex parents (5.4%), but over ten times higher for children with married same-sex parents (32.4%). 

Studies engineered to show “no difference” in child outcomes when raised by same-sex couples are intended to condone the denial of a children’s natural right to be raised by their biological mothers and fathers. Defending this natural right grants children safety, identity, and exposure to the complementary gender roles essential to maximizing psychological and physical development, and they should never be deprived of these crucial benefits in the name of “equality.”