Dr. Abbie Goldberg, author of the highly recommended Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle, is now blogging at the Psychology Today Web site in a new column, “Beyond Blood.”
Goldberg, an associate professor of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., says, “Beyond Blood is a blog about the not-so-alternative families of today: adoptive families, gay parent families, and other families that are born of love and not of blood.”
In her first post, “Suddenly, It’s Personal,” she writes of the welcoming transformation that can happen to family members when a lesbian or gay son or daughter announces she or he is becoming a parent. Using research findings from her upcoming new book, Gay Dads: Transitions to Adoptive Fatherhood (Qualitative Studies in Psychology), she explains:
It is interesting that when these gay men actually became parents, their family members often showed striking changes in support…. The men attributed this change in sentiment to the fact that “everybody loves babies.” This prompted their parents and other family members to overlook, minimize, or even reverse their previously negative views on homosexuality.
She also cites the example of one of the most famous grandparents with a lesbian child, former Vice President Dick Cheney, saying, “When his daughter Mary had her son Samuel, Cheney’s politics seemed to be pushed a bit further to the left—at least where marriage equality was concerned.” He may be “an unlikely supporter of marriage equality,” Goldberg notes, but adds that his personal experience has made a difference.
That’s an encouraging sign for the many lesbian and gay people considering parenthood, although of course one’s mileage may vary.
I’m looking forward to Goldberg’s future posts, putting research behind the rhetoric.
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