(ref: All Children Matter study, http://children-matter.org )
Here are some of the findings about LGBT families that come from a research study authored by the Movement Advancement Project, Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress, COLAGE, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and the National Association of Social Workers in October, 2011.
- Roughly 2 million children are being raised in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) families.
- Children raised by same-gender couples are twice as likely to live in poverty.
- Same-gender parents raising children are more racially and ethnically diverse than mixed gender couples. 59% of same-gender parents are white versus 73% for mixed-gender parents.
- Same-gender couples in the South are more likely to raise children than same-gender couples elsewhere in the county. (Interestingly, the same states with the most restrictive laws against LGBT people also seem to have the most number of same-gender couples raising kids.)
- Children raised by same-gender parents are just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as children raised by mixed-gender parents. 30 years of research in this area come from authorities including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Welfare League of America.
- 14,000 foster children are being raised by Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual foster parents. (Transgender was not tracked in this number)
- A child living with two parents of the same gender can be assured that his/her relationship with both of his/her parents will be recognized by the law in fewer than half of the United States. A LGBT parent not legally recognized as a parent can lose (or never have) custody or visitation rights.
- LGBT families are largely excluded from tax credits and deductions designed to help ease the financial costs of raising children. In one case study, a same-gender family of five (two parents and three kids) paid $1,490 more in federal taxes than a mixed-gender family of five.
- Even for legally married same-gender parents, a surviving parent is not eligible for Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance which is administered by the Social Security Administration. This is interesting in that the United States government ordinarily relies on a state’s determination of parental and marital status in providing benefits.
- On a positive note, LGBT families (with both parents being U.S. citizens) have equal access to federal food assistance programs and public housing assistance due to a more inclusive definition of “family” for these programs.
Please consider reading and signing The Defense of All Families Pledge.