Background: The phenomenon of planned lesbian families (i.e., two‐mother families in which the child was born to the lesbian relationship) is relatively new and very little research has been conducted among those families. The overall aim of this research was to examine whether planned lesbian mother families differ from heterosexual families on factors that are assumed to influence the parent–child relationship, such as experience of parenthood, child‐rearing goals, couple relationship, and social support. Method: A hundred lesbian two‐mother families were compared with 100 heterosexual families having naturally conceived children. A variety of measures were used to collect the data, including questionnaires and a diary of activities kept by the parents. Results: Lesbian parents are no less competent or more burdened than heterosexual parents. Both lesbian and heterosexual parents consider it important to develop qualities of independence in their child. However, ‘conformity’ as a child‐rearing goal is less important to lesbian mothers. Furthermore, lesbian social mothers feel more often than fathers in heterosexual families that they must justify the quality of their parenthood. Conclusion: There are few differences between lesbian couples and heterosexual couples, except that lesbian mothers appear less attuned to traditional child‐rearing goals and lesbian social mothers appear more to defend their position as mother.
The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry – Wiley
Published: May 1, 2004
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