There is a serious shortage of people stepping up to foster or adopt the hundreds of thousands of children who are in the system waiting to find a new foster family or adopted family. The gay community is a resource for many of these children but this study indicates that if judged more harshly than their straight counterparts, gay parents are at a disadvantage.
"Raising awareness of these attitudes is a critical step in being able to utilize a potentially valuable pool of prospective adoptive and foster parents," said Massey, "but it is also vital to improving the day to day lives of our families and our children."
On Thursday, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement supporting same-sex marriage and reiterating its support for the adoption of children by gay families. The researchers say that with strong support for gay marriage coming from the medical and psychological professional organizations, and with increasing support among the general public (58% of whom now support same-sex marriage), the next frontier for gay rights may be same-sex parenting. Massey says although overt and hostile prejudice may indeed be diminishing, modern, subtle prejudice continues to affect the lives of lesbians, gay men, and their families.
"Prejudicial judgments, however subtle, that serve to limit access of these families to potential support and resources, ultimately harm today's youths," says Massey.The researchers strongly encourage the continued exploration of the effect this subtle prejudice has on the wellbeing of same-sex families and how best to work toward its elimination. The study was published in this month's issue of the Journal of GLBT Family Studies and can be viewed through the journal's website: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1550428X.2013.765257. SOURCE Binghamton University, SUNY