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Respecting the Complex Identities of Gay Fathers and Their Families: A Review With Considerations For Further Research

25 July 2008


The author conducted a comprehensive critical review of literature published from 1991 to the present, related to gay fathers and their children. Gay fathered families were observed to take 3 distinct forms: a) gay men who have children from previous heterosexual relationships and the gay stepfamilies they form; b) gay men who adopt or become foster parents; and c) gay men who seek slU1·ogacy. All family forms faced issues related to homophobia, heterosexism, and coming out. The literature was organized into sections of gay father and gay family identity, within-group gay family diversity, gay fathers as compared to heterosexual fathers, the children of lesbian and gay parents, legal and social policy issues related to lesbian and gay parental rights, clinical considerations, and a discussion which considered directions for future research .


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