A Brief Summary of Stressful Event
Vivian and Anya are same-sex couples. Anya is white and Vivian is an African American lady. The two have been together for about ten years now. Recently, they adopted a two years old biracial child. Vivian advocated for the adoption of a biracial child so that the child could match their union. Anya’s parents, however, were opposed to the adoption of a biracial child because the couple was already facing an interracial challenge especially from Anya’s family that did not accept Vivian as their family member because of her race. This notwithstanding, Anya’s parents have been supportive to the couple from the time it adopted the two-year-old child. They have been babysitting the child. The couple’s main stressor now is the child’s school that discriminates against the child. Anya and Vivian are the only same-sex parents in the school and they have to contend with the discriminative nature of the school. The school does not recognize same-sex marriages.
Three Points of Interest
Despite the less support that same-sex families receive from societies and family members, studies show no significant differences between children from heterosexual families and same-sex families. They particularly show that children from same-sex families develop like children from heterosexual families (S. Price, C. Price & McKenry, 2010).
Studies further demonstrate that majority of children that come from same-sex families tend to enjoy support from family members once they are born. According to S. Price et al. (2010), family members tend to discard their negative attitudes towards same-sex families once those families transition to parenthood.
In some instances, however, the level of support that same-sex families enjoy after they transition to parenthood depends on the biological relationship between families and children. Research suggest that families that have close biological ties with children tend to support children born in same-sex families than families that do not have biological ties to those children. Studies further suggest that family support for children born out of same-sex families may be affected by a racial-ethnic match between children and their parents. More often than not parents that get children from other races may not enjoy same support as parents that get children from their races. Studies show that majority of the families may be unwilling to embrace children from other races (S. Price et al., 2010). This may expose children from same-sex families to excessive discrimination especially those from different races and ethnic groups.
In order to help children from same-sex families to cope up with the above challenges, therapists and practitioners that deal with same-sex issues should be attentive to the unique dimensions of these people. They should handle them with a lot of care. However, as they do this, they should remain cognizant of the possible effects that these families may have in relationship conflicts. In addition, they should be sensitive to the contexts and variables that impact the stability, nature, and formation of same-sex families (S. Price et al., 2010).
Besides doing the above, both practitioners and institutions that work with same-sex families should advocate for the inclusion of same-sex families in public forums and acceptance of these families in societies. They should in particular through advocacy programs force school personnel and educators to take the right steps to minimize discrimination against children from same-sex families in schools. Furthermore, they should work in collaboration with the legal fraternity to develop non-discriminatory laws (S. Price et al., 2010).
In order to deal with some of the challenges that LGBQ people face, the article Resilience in families with same-sex parents by Natasha Griffiths and Julie Ann Poolie would be helpful to same-sex families in coping up with stress.
Price, S., Price, C. & McKenry, P. (2010). Families & change: Coping with stressful events and transitions. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Griffiths, N. & Pooley, J. A. (2011). Resilience in families with same-sex parents. The Australian Psychologist, 23(2), 50-67.