Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science / Lifespan Resilience Research Group
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents experience stress, as heterocentricism and/or homonegativity permeate the Australian context. Despite challenges faced by these parents and their families, research consistently shows children raised by same-sex parents to be as psychologically healthy, and as socially and academically well-adjusted, as their peers raised in traditional heterosexual-parented families. The ability of these children to flourish despite the challenges they face highlights the resilience of this minority group. Contrary to comparative research, the current study is framed by a phenomenological approach, and utilized narrative methodology to qualitatively explore the lived experiences of the adult children of same-sex parents. Participants (N = 8) were over 18, lived in Australia, and had at least one parent who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Thematic analysis indicated that the dissolution of their biological parents' marriage and subsequent blending of two families were the most salient issues for participants. Participants did indicate fear and/or experience of homophobic reactions, parental modelling, controlling disclosure, social support, an outward perspective, and time to adjust were important in coping with challenges. Participants also indicated that their nontraditional family structure gave them unique advantages and emphasized the importance of secure, loving relationships within their family.