Mothers Kate Willock and Christine Minkov with their children, Daniel and Alice Willock-Minkov.
Mothers Kate Willock and Christine Minkov with their children, Daniel and Alice Willock-Minkov. Jay Cronan

Lesbian families' happy connection

RESEARCH published this month shows children raised in planned lesbian families are doing just fine.

The research is part of a breakthrough longitudinal study being conducted in the US which has followed children being raised by lesbians since the 1980s.

This research, along with other recently published papers, show that children from planned lesbian families are doing at least as well as, and sometimes better, than children from heterosexual families.

The research comes as no surprise to Lismore mother, Christine Minkov, who with her partner, Kate Willock, is raising two children, Daniel, 8, and Alice, 5.

She said that in lesbian relationships pregnancies never happened by mistake and this meant the parents had time to think and plan for their children.

"I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all way of being a parent," Ms Minkov said.

However, successful parenting was about "love and commitment to the process of raising children," regardless of the parent's sexuality, she said.

"Kate and I are very aware that many people are critical of same sex couples having children and knowing this has made us more committed to building resilience in our children. We know they will be teased at some point in their lives so we try to prepare them for that, to stand strong, know they are loved, and be just what they are - beautiful children who have two mums."

Her children had already experienced negative comments made by other children, but had dealt with it well, she said.

Ms Minkov said that while there had been a shift in community attitudes toward gay and lesbian families, there was still much discrimination, particularly toward the non-biological mother.

The research, published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics this month, shows that children from lesbian homes have a quality of life which is equal to children from heterosexual homes.

Another study on psychological adjustment conducted by the National Longitudinal Family Study found children from lesbian couples rated significantly higher in social, school and academic areas.

All the studies can be downloaded from the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study website at http://www.nllfs.org


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