Research Topic

LGBTQ Parents and Their Children during the Family Life Cycle

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About this Research Topic

The psychological adjustment of children whose parents belong to a sexual minority has been a sustained focus of research since the early investigations of families headed by lesbian mothers, in the 1970s, to settle disputes about child custody arrangements following divorce.

Since that time, a ...

The psychological adjustment of children whose parents belong to a sexual minority has been a sustained focus of research since the early investigations of families headed by lesbian mothers, in the 1970s, to settle disputes about child custody arrangements following divorce.

Since that time, a large body of research has been conducted, especially in the United States and in Europe, showing that concerns related to the poor outcomes of lesbian mothers and their adopted or donor-conceived children lacked empirical foundation.

Yet, more remains to be known about adolescents and young adults with lesbian mothers, as well as about other family arrangements headed by sexual minority parents, including adoptive gay fathers, gay fathers through surrogacy, gay single fathers, lesbian single mothers, bisexual parents, elective lesbian and gay coparents, trans, non-binary and gender queer parents.
Although they all share the feature of challenging the hegemonic, heteronormative family models, each family arrangement presents peculiarities related to the intersection of, for example, parents’ gender, children’s method of conception, partners dynamics and parenthood decision-making.


The current Research Topic focuses on different important areas related to the experiences and psychological outcomes of LGBTQ parents and their children, throughout their family life cycle: family building by LGBTQ people, the transition to parenthood for LGBTQ parents and functioning of LGBTQ parents and their children.

Broad questions of interest include, but are not limited to:

• How children’s non-adherence to traditional gender roles affect their lives in same-sex parent families?

• How do parents’ gender transition and sexual orientation shape the experiences of children with transgender parents?

• Which family characteristics matter most for child adjustment in gay single-father families?

• Does adoptive parent-child relationship quality condition children’s interest in and wish for contact with, their birth family?

• What do variations in child care between gay and lesbian coparents mean for their partners, and what are the implications for their children’s adjustment?

• How do children feel about their surrogate and/or egg donor in gay single father families?

• How sexual minority parents handle the ending of their relationship when children are present?

• How the different experiences of sexual minority parents and their children may inform school practices?

• What factors may influence prospective bisexual parents’ choice of their path to parenthood?

• Does genetic relatedness affect family relationships differently in gay father surrogacy families and donor conception lesbian mother families?

• How children’s attachment needs are addressed in families where gay fathers are the primary caregivers?


To this end, we are soliciting Original Research articles, Review articles, Hypothesis and Theory articles, Perspective articles, Brief Research Report articles, Commentaries, and Opinion articles to bring together researchers from different socio-cultural settings in order to examine the interaction between family structure and family processes in LGBTQ parent families, as well as their effects on the psychological adjustment and lives of parents and their children.


Keywords: LGBTQ parent, Child Development, Family Relationships, Assisted Reproduction, Adoption


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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