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LGBT Parenting in the United States

  • Author(s): Gates, Gary J.
  • et al.
Abstract

As many as six million American children and adults have an LGBT parent. Same-sex couple parents and their children are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities. An estimated 39 percent of individuals in same-sex couples with children under age 18 at home are non-white, as are half of their children.  LGBT parents live in states from coast to coast, but many do not actually live on the coasts. States with the highest proportions of same-sex couples raising biological, adopted or step-children include Mississippi (26%), Wyoming (25%), Alaska (23%), Idaho (22%), and Montana (22%).Notably, the report found that LGBT individuals and same-sex couples raising children face greater economic challenges than their non-LGBT counterparts. Single LGBT adults raising children are three times more likely than comparable non-LGBT individuals to report household incomes near the poverty threshold. Married or partnered LGBT individuals living in two-adult households with children are twice as likely as comparable non-LGBT individuals to report household incomes near the poverty threshold. Several factors likely contribute to the relative economic disadvantages of same-sex couples with children, including that LGB parents are more likely to be female, black, Latino/a, and younger than their different-sex counterparts. In the U.S., all of these groups, on average, have lower incomes.

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