Lesbian and Queer Mothers Navigating the Adoption System: The impacts on mental health

Ross, Lori; Epstein, Rachel; Goldfinger, Corrie; Steele, Leah; Anderson, Scott; Strike, Carol
October 2008
Health Sociology Review;Oct2008, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p254
Academic Journal
Increasing numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and queer (LGBTQ) people are choosing to parent through adoption. The minimal research available, focused particularly on lesbian and gay adoptive parents, suggests they face significant barriers to adoption (including being held to a higher standard than heterosexual adoptive parents), homophobia from child welfare professionals, and limited social support post-adoption. These issues have significant implications for the mental health of LGBTQ adoptive parents, but have not been researched to date. Seven interviews were conducted with Canadian lesbian and queer adoptive parents to examine the mental health impact of adoption and identify barriers to accessing health and social services. Adoptive parents described multiple challenges related to the adoption process and becoming a parent. Further research is needed to identify the long-term mental health effects of the stress of the adoption process on lesbian and queer parents, and their need for support services.


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