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The decision to narrow the focus was made because the need for the publication seemed to be primarily in the forensic context.
We hope the publication will be useful to clinicians, researchers, students, lawyers, and parents involved in legal and policy issues related to lesbian and gay parenting.
Negative attitudes about lesbian and gay parenting may be held in the population at large (King & Black, 1999; Mc Leod, Crawford, & Zechmeister, 1999) as well as by psychologists (Crawford, Mc Leod, Zamboni, & Jordan, 1999).
As with beliefs about other socially stigmatized groups, the beliefs held generally in society about lesbians and gay men are often not based in personal experience, but are frequently culturally transmitted (Herek, 1995; Gillis, 1998).
Systematic research on the children of lesbian and gay parents began to appear in major professional journals in the late 1970s and has grown into a considerable body of research only in recent years (Allen & Demo, 1995; Patterson, 1992, 2000).
As this summary will show, the results of existing research comparing lesbian and gay parents to heterosexual parents and children of lesbian and gay parents to children of heterosexual parents are quite clear: Common stereotypes are not supported by the data.
The publication is provided for the use of clinicians, researchers, students, lawyers and parents involved in legal and policy issues related to lesbian and gay parenting.
"Lesbian and Gay Parenting" is the successor to "Lesbian and Gay Parenting: A Resource for Psychologists" (1995). that was jointly produced by CLGBC and CWP in 1991.
As is true in any area of research, questions have been raised with regard to sampling issues, statistical power, and other technical matters (e.g., Belcastro, Gramlich, Nicholson, Price, & Wilson, 1993; Wardle, 1997).
The committees broadened the focus of the publication to include the empirical research on gay fathers, as well as lesbian mothers, and the clinical literature relevant to psychological services for lesbian and gay parents, their children, and their families.
When the current edition was first planned in 1999, the committees decided that the focus of the publication should be narrowed again to serve the needs of psychologists, lawyers, and parties in family law cases.
Patterson, Ph D Like families headed by heterosexual parents, lesbian and gay parents and their children are a diverse group (Arnup, 1995; Barrett & Tasker, 2001; Martin, 1998; Morris, Balsam, & Rothblum, 2002).
Unlike heterosexual parents and their children, however, lesbian and gay parents and their children are often subject to prejudice because of their sexual orientation that can turn judges, legislators, professionals, and the public against them, sometimes resulting in negative outcomes, such as loss of physical custody, restrictions on visitation, and prohibitions against adoption (ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, 2002; Appell, 2003; Patterson, Fulcher, & Wainright, 2002).