Advertisement

Gay Fathers’ Involvement in their Young Children’s Lives

  • Dana Berkowitz
  • Katherine A. Kuvalanka
Chapter
Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 6)

Abstract

As the contemporary fathering and family landscape grows increasingly more complex, a growing body of scholars are beginning to expand knowledge on the social matrix of men’s relationships with children by exploring the experiences of gay men as potential and active fathers. This chapter provides an overview of the existing empirical and theoretical scholarship on gay fathers and their involvement with children. In addition to reviewing the dominant themes in the literature, we detail the changing legalities facing gay fathers and their families, suggest implications for policy makers and practitioners, and offer practical resources for educators.

Keywords

Gay fathers Gay parenting Fathering Families Family relationships Children of gay parents Family diversity 

References

  1. Allen, K. R., & Demo, D. H. (1995). The families of lesbian and gay men: A new frontier in family research. Journal of Marriage and Family, 57, 111–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, M., & Burrell, N. (1996). Comparing the impact of homosexual and heterosexual parents on children: Meta-analysis of existing research. Journal of Homosexuality, 32, 19–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Almanzar, Y. (2008, Nov). Florida gay adoption ban is ruled unconstitutional. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/us/26florida.html?_r=1.
  4. Appell, A. R. (2003). Recent developments in lesbian and gay adoption law. Adoption Quarterly, 7, 73–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  6. Barret, R. L., & Robinson, B. E. (2000). Gay fathers. Lexington: D C Heath.Google Scholar
  7. Barrionuevo, A. (2010, July). Argentina approves gay marriage, in a first for region. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/world/americas/16argentina.html.
  8. Bigner, J. J., & Jacobsen, R. B. (1989). Parenting behaviors of homosexual and heterosexual fathers. Journal of Homosexuality, 18(1, 2), 173–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bellafante, G. (2004, Jan). Two fathers with one happy to stay at home. New York Times, p. A1.Google Scholar
  10. Benson, A. L., Silverstein, L. B., & Auerbach, C. F. (2005). From the margins to the center. Gay fathers reconstructing the fathering role. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 1, 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berkowitz, D. (2007a). A sociohistorical analysis of gay men’s procreative consciousness. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 3, 157–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Berkowitz, D. (2007b). Gay men: Negotiating procreative, father, and family identities. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Florida.Google Scholar
  13. Berkowitz, D. (2009). Theorizing lesbian and gay parenting: Past, present, and future scholarship. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 1, 117–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Berkowitz, D., & Marsiglio, W. (2007). Gay men: Negotiating procreative, father, and family identities. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 366–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Biblarz, T. J., & Stacey, J. (2010). How does the gender of parents matter? Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bozett, F. W. (1985). Gay men as fathers. In S. Hanson and F. W. Bozett (Eds.), Dimensions of fatherhood (pp. 327–335). Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Bozett, F. W. (1987). Children of gay fathers. In F. W. Bozett (Ed.), Gay and lesbian parents (pp. 39–57). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  18. Brinamen, C. F. (2000). On becoming fathers: Issues facing gay men choosing to parent. Dissertation Abstracts International, 6(5-B), 2794.Google Scholar
  19. Brodzinsky, D., Patterson, C., & Vaziri, M. (2002). Adoption agency perspectives on lesbian and gay prospective parents: A national study. Adoption Quarterly, 5, 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Brodzinsky, D. M., & Staff of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. (2003). Adoption by lesbians and gays: A national survey of adoption agency policies, practices, and attitudes. New York: Donaldson Institute.Google Scholar
  21. Buell, C. (2001). Legal issues affecting alternative families: A therapist’s primer. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy, 4(3, 4), 75–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chan, R. W., Brooks, R. C., Raboy, B., & Patterson, C. J. (1998). Division of labor among lesbian and heterosexual parents: Associations with children’s adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 12, 402–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Chasnoff, D., & Cohen, H. (Producers). (2000). Thats a family! A film for kids about family diversity [Videotape]. San Francisco: Women’s Educational Media.Google Scholar
  24. Cianciotto, J., & Cahill, S. (2003). Education policy: Issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. New York: The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.Google Scholar
  25. Clarke, V. (2002). Sameness and difference in research on lesbian parenting. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 12, 210–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Clarke, V., & Kitzinger, C. (2005). We’re not living on planet lesbian: Constructions of male role models in debates about lesbian families. Sexualities, 8, 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Clarke, V., Kitzinger, C., & Potter, J. (2004). Kids are just cruel anyway: Lesbian and gay parents’ talk about homophobic bullying. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 531–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. D’Augelli, A. R., Rendina, H. J., & Sinclair, K. O. (2008). Gay and lesbian youth want long-term couple relationships and raising children. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 1, 77–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Foucault, M. (1977). Power/Knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings 1972–1977. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  30. Gates, G. J. (2009). Same-sex spouses and unmarried partners in the American Community Survey, 2008. Los Angeles: The Williams Institute. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/23935169/Same-Sex-Couples-and-Unmarried-Partners-in-the-American-Community-Survey.Google Scholar
  31. Gates, G., & Ost, J. (2004). The gay and lesbian atlas. Washington: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  32. Gates, G., Badgett, M. V. L., Macomber, J. E., & Chambers, K. (2007). Adoption and foster care by gay and lesbian parents in the United States. Washington: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  33. Gillis, J. R. (1998). Cultural heterosexism and the family. In C. J. Patterson and A. R. D’Augelli (Eds.), Lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities in families: Psychological perspectives (pp. 249–269). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Goldberg, A. E. (2007). (How) does it make a difference? Perspectives of adults with lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77, 450–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Goldberg, A. E. (2010a). Lesbian and gay parents and their children: Research on the family life cycle. Washington: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Goldberg, A. E. (2010b). Studying complex families in context. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 29–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Goldberg, A. E., & Allen, K. R. (2007). Imagining men: Lesbian mothers’ perceptions of male involvement during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 352–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Goldberg, A. E., Downing, J. B., & Sauck, C. C. (2007). Choices, challenges, and tensions: Perspectives of prospective lesbian adoptive parents. Adoption Quarterly, 10, 33–63. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Green, R., Mandel, J. B., Hotvedt, M. E., Gray, J., & Smith, L. (1986). Lesbian mothers and their children: A comparison with solo parent heterosexual mothers and their children. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7, 175–181.Google Scholar
  40. Growing Generations. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.growinggenerations.com/.
  41. Henrickson, M. (2005). Lavender parents. Social Policy Journal of New England, 26, 68–83.Google Scholar
  42. Hequembourg, A. L. (2007). Lesbian motherhood: Stories of becoming. Binghamton: Harrington Park Press.Google Scholar
  43. Herek, G. M. (1990). The context of anti-gay violence: Notes on cultural and psychological heterosexism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 316–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Herek, G. M. (1992). The social context of hate crimes: Notes on cultural heterosexism. In G. M. Herek and K. Berrill (Eds.), Hate crimes: Confronting violence against lesbians and gay men (pp. 89–104). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Hicks, S. (2006). Maternal Men – perverts and deviants? Making sense of gay men as foster carriers and adopters. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 2, 93–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Human Rights Campaign. (2010a). International marriage rights. Retrieved from –-http://www.hrc.org/issues/5023.htm.
  47. Human Rights Campaign. (2010b). Second-parent adoption. Retrieved from http://www.hrc.org/issues/2385.htm.
  48. Ingraham, C. (1996). The heterosexual imaginary: Feminist sociology and theories of gender. In S. Seidman (Ed.), Queer theory/sociology (pp. 168–193). New York: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  49. Ingraham, C., (Ed.). (2005). Thinking straight: The power, the promise, and the paradox of heterosexuality. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Janmohamed, Z., & Campbell, R. (2009). Building bridges: Queer families in early childhood education. Toronto: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development. Retrieved from http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/atkinson/UserFiles/File/BuildingBridges.pdf.Google Scholar
  51. Jeltova, I., & Fish, M. C. (2005). Creating school environments responsive to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender families: Traditional and systemic approaches for consultation. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 16, 17–33.Google Scholar
  52. Johnson, S. M., & Connor, E. M. (2002). The gay baby boom: The psychology of gay parenthood. New York: New York University.Google Scholar
  53. Kosciw, J. G., & Diaz, E. M. (2008). Involved, invisible, ignored: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents and their children in our nation’s K-12 schools. New York: GLSEN.Google Scholar
  54. Krause, H. D., & Meyer, D. D. (2007). Family law: In a nutshell. St. Paul: Thomson/West.Google Scholar
  55. Lassiter, P. S., Dew, B. J., Newton, K., Hays, D. G., & Yarbrough, B. (2006). Self-defined empowerment for gay and lesbian parents: A qualitative explanation. The Family Journal, 14, 245–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lev, A. I. (2006). Gay dads: Choosing surrogacy. Lesbian & Gay Psychology Review, 7, 73–77.Google Scholar
  57. Lewin, E. (2009). Gay fatherhood: Narratives of family and citizenship in America. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  58. Lindsay, J., Perlesz, A., Brown, R., McNair, R., de Vaus, D., & Pitts, M. (2006). Stigma or respect: Lesbian-parented families negotiating school settings. Sociology, 40, 1059–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Mallon, G. P. (2004). Gay men choosing parenthood. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Maney, D. W., & Cain, R. E. (1997). Preservice elementary teachers’ attitudes toward gay and lesbian parenting. Journal of School Health, 67, 236–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. McPheeters, A., Carmi, M., & Goldberg, A. E. (2008, Aug). Gay mens experiences of sexism and heterosexism in the adoption process. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association annual conference, Boston.Google Scholar
  62. McPherson, D. (1993). Gay parenting couples parenting arrangements, arrangement satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction. Dissertation Abstracts International, 54(7-B), 3859.Google Scholar
  63. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2008, Nov). Anti-adoption laws in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/reports_and_research/adoption_laws.
  64. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2011, June 28). Relationship recognition for same-sex couples in the U.S. Retrieved February from http://www.thetaskforce.org/reports_and_research/relationship_recognition.
  65. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2012, January 20). State nondiscrimination laws in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/reports_and_research/nondiscrimination_laws
  66. Oswald, R, F., Blume, L. B., & Marks, S. R. (2005). Decentering heteronormativity: A proposal for family studies. In V. Bengston, A. Acock, K. Allen, P. Dilworth Anderson, and D. Klein (Eds.), Sourcebook of family theories and methods: An interactive approach (pp. 143–165). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  67. Patterson, C. J. (2000). Sexual orientation and family life: A decade review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62, 1052–1069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Patterson, C. J. (2007). Lesbian and gay family issues in the context of changing legal and social policy environments. In K. J. Bieschke, R. M. Perez, and K. A. DeBord (Eds.), Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients (2nd ed., pp. 359–377). Washington: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Patterson, C. J., Fulcher, M., & Wainright, J. (2002). Children of lesbian and gay parents: Research, law, and policy. In B. L. Bottoms, M. B. Kovera, and B. D. McAuliff (Eds.), Children, social science, and the law (pp. 176–199). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pawelski, J. G., Perrin, E. C., Foy, J. M., Allen, C. F., Crawford, M. D. M., & Kaufman, M. (2006). The effects of marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership laws on the health and well-being of children. Pediatrics, 118, 349–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rabun, C., & Oswald, R. F. (2009). Upholding and expanding the normal family: Future fatherhood through the eyes of gay male emerging adults. Fathering, 7, 269–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Richman, K. D. (2009). Courting change: Queer parents, judges, and the transformation of American family law. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  73. Ryan, M., & Berkowitz, D. (2009). Constructing gay and lesbian families beyond the closet. Qualitative Sociology, 32, 153–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Ryan, D., & Martin, A. (2000). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents in the school system. School Psychology Review, 29, 207–216.Google Scholar
  75. Schacher, S. J., Auerbach, C. F., & Silverstein, L. B. (2005). Gay fathers expanding the possibilities for us all. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 1, 31–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Stacey, J. (1996). In the name of the family: Rethinking family values in the postmodern age. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  77. Stacey, J. (2006). Gay parenthood and the decline of paternity as we knew it. Sexualities, 9, 27–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Stacey, J., & Biblarz, T. (2001). (How) Does the sexual orientation of parents matter? American Sociological Review, 66, 159–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Symons, J. (Director). (2002). Daddy & papa: A story about gay fathers in America [DVD]. Harriman: New Day Films.Google Scholar
  80. Tasker, F., & Golombok, S. (1997). Growing up in a lesbian family: Effects on child development. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  81. The New York Times. (2012, June 10). Same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. The New York Times. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html
  82. U.S. General Accounting Office. (2004). Defense of Marriage Act: Update to prior report (GAO-04-353R). Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov.
  83. Wolfe, R. B. (2006). Choosing to include gay issues in early childhood teacher preparation coursework: One professor’s journey. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 27, 195–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and Women’s and Gender StudiesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA,
  2. 2.Miami University of OhioOxfordUSA,

Personalised recommendations