Some pre-2000 resources

Hicks, S. and McDermott, J. (eds.) (1999) Lesbian and Gay Fostering and Adoption: Extraordinary Yet Ordinary, London: Jessica Kingsley

Tasker, F. (1999) Children in Lesbian-led families: a review, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 4(2): 153-166.

Author’s abstract: There are an increasing number of children who are being brought up in lesbian- led families. Research on non-clinical samples of children raised in lesbian-led families formed after parental divorce, together with studies of children raised in families planned by a single lesbian mother or lesbian couple, suggest that growing up in a lesbian-led family does not have negative effects on key developmental outcomes. In many ways family life for children growing up in lesbian-led families is similar to that experienced by children in heterosexual families. In other respects there are important distinctions, such as different types of family forms and the impact of social stigma on the family, that may influence how clinicians approach therapeutic work with children in lesbian mother families.

Hicks, S. (1998) Familiar Fears: The assessment of lesbian and gay fostering and adoption applicants. Applied Social Science, Lancaster University: PhD thesis.

Brown, H.C. (1998) Social Work and Sexuality: Working with Lesbians and Gay Men. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Hicks, S. (1997) Taking the risk? Assessing lesbian and gay carers, in Good Practice in Risk Assessment and Risk Management 2: Protection, rights and responsibilities. edited by H. Kemshall and J. Pritchard. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Tasker, F. and Golombok, S. (1997) Growing up in a Lesbian Family: Effects on Child Development. New York: Guilford Press.

Golombok, S. and Tasker, F. (1996) Do parents influence the sexual orientation of their children? Findings from a longitudinal study of lesbian families? Findings from a longitudinal study of lesbian families. Developmental Psychology 32(1): 3-11

Abstract: Findings are presented of a longitudinal study of the sexual orientation of adults who had been raised as children in lesbian families. Twenty-five children of lesbian mothers and a control group of 21 children of heterosexual single mothers were first seen at age 9.5 years on average, and again at age 23.5 years on average. Standardized interviews were used to obtain data on sexual orientation from the young adults in the follow-up study, and on family characteristics and children’s gender role behavior from the mothers and their children in the initial study. Although those from lesbian families were more likely to explore same-sex relationships, particularly if their childhood family environment was characterized by an openness and acceptance of lesbian and gay relationships, the large majority of children who grew up in lesbian families identified as heterosexual

Hicks, S. (1996) The “last resort”?: lesbian and gay experiences of the social work assessment process in fostering and adoption. Practice, 8(2), 15–24.

Abstract: This article presents the results of a piece of research which considered the experiences of a number of lesbians and gay men who had been assessed as potential foster or adoptive carers by social workers. The findings suggest discriminatory responses in relation to lesbian and gay applicants which, it is argued, disadvantage their chances of being approved and having children placed within their care. The article attempts to locate such responses, and to suggest ways in which a more anti-discriminatory assessment practice can be developed.

Brown, H.C. (1991) Competent child-focused practice: working with lesbian and gay carers. Adoption and Fostering 15(2), 11-17.

Tasker, F. and Golombok, S. (1991) Children raised by Lesbian Mothers: The Empirical Evidence, Family Law, 21, 184-7.

Skeates, J., and Jabri, D. (eds) (1988) Fostering and Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men. London Strategic Policy Unit: London.

Golombok, S., Spencer, A., and Rutter, M. (1983) Children in lesbian and single parent households: Psychosexual and psychiatric appraisal. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,  24 (4), 551-572.

Author’s abstract: Thirty-seven school-age children reared in 27 lesbian households were compared with 38 school-age children reared in 27 heterosexual single-parent households, with respect to their psychosexual development and their emotions, behaviour and relationships. Systematic standardized interviews with the mothers and with the children, together with parent and teacher questionnaires, were used to make the psychosexual and psychiatric appraisal. The two groups did not differ in terms of their gender identity, sex role behaviour or sexual orientation. Also, they did not differ on most measures of emotions, behaviour and relationships-although there was some indication of more frequent psychiatric problems in the single-parent group. It was concluded that rearing in a lesbian household per se did not lead to atypical psychosexual development or constitute a psychiatric risk factor.


New resources to suggest?