LGBTQ+ Families

In the past, children of LGBTQ+ families were from a previous different-sex relationship. Today, greater acceptance from society and technology advancements have allowed LGBTQ+ individuals to come out earlier in life and start their family as partners. Common ways that LGBTQ+ people and same-sex couples are having children are from assissted reproductive technology, fostering, and adopting (Family Equality).

What Do LGBTQ+ Families Look Like?

With between 2-3.7 million children under 18 living with at least one LGBTQ+ parent (Family Equality), it is a rising question of how these families work. 

Research repeatedly finds that these families are very similar to different-sex parent families. LGBTQ+ families can also be married, divorced, single-parent, cohabiting, etc. The SPSSI found five important research findings regarding the equality of LGBTQ+ families:

  1. LGBTQ+ people are equally as fit to marry and raise children.
  2. There is no foundation on the idea that LGBTQ+ mothers and fathers should not become parents because of their sexual orientation.
  3. Being involved in a relationship with (an) LGBTQ+ person(s) is unrelated to their ability to care for a child. 
  4. LGBTQ+ and heterosexual women show similar child-rearing practices.
  5. LGBTQ+ fathers are not found to be different from heterosexual fathers in their ability to parent or foster healthy development for the child. 

Learn More

Visit the Family Equality’s postings to learn more about LGBTQ+ families and the discrimination they face. 

The Movement Advancement Project also has various resource maps on certain statistics regarding LGBTQ+ families. 

Series Navigation

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series highlights several early childhood topics to support parents and caregivers who are caring for young children. Use the list below to navigate through each series topic:

Learn more about the series.

Request free printed materials from our Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series.


Picture: A young baby looks up at the camera.
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