In a truly beautiful story, Mariely Martinez and her wife Carla Melendez both gave birth within a month of each other, with their friends Juny Roman and Alex Torres as sperm donors. Making the births extra special, Alex and Juny are also married. Mariely and Carla decided that they wanted a family together, but they were uncomfortable with the idea of using a sperm donor from a fertility clinic. They wanted the father to be someone they knew. That was when they reconnected with their longtime friend, Alex, and met his husband, Juny, and knew that they had found the perfect fit. Mariely and Carla welcomed little Matteo and Marla into the world and couldn’t be happier.
L to R: Juny Roman, Mariely Martinez, Carla Melendez and Alex Torres. Mariely Martinez carried Matteo, fathered by juny Roman. Carla Melendez carried Marla, fathered by Alex Torres.
Carla and Mariely. Carla and Mariely both wanted to carry a child. They wanted the father to be in their child’s life, so an anonymous sperm donor was not considered an option.
Alex Torres. Mariely and Carla immediately thought of their friend Alex Torres, who they had known for over 10 years. Initially, they planned for Torres to father both children.
Juny Roman. When Carla and Mariely got to know Alex Torres’s husband, Juny Roman, they changed their minds. They decided they wanted Roman to also father one of their children.
Full of love. While Mariely and Carla have full custody of Marla and Matteo, Juny and Alex will continue to be active in their children’s lives. Mariely, Carla, Juny and Alex are a loving, happy albeit unconventional family, whose children are very fortunate to have such wonderful parents.
Children of same-sex couples. Children raised by same-gender parents are just as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as children raised by mixed-gender parents. 30 years of research in this area come from authorities including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Welfare League of America.
Good parenting is not defined by sex or gender. Home environments with lesbian and gay parents are as likely to successfully support a child’s development as those with heterosexual parents. Good parenting is not influenced by sexual orientation. Rather, it is influenced most profoundly by a parent’s ability to create a loving and nurturing home — an ability that does not depend on whether a parent is gay or straight. Source: ACLU.
Debunking myths. There is no evidence to suggest that the children of lesbian and gay parents are less intelligent, suffer from more problems, are less popular, or have lower self-esteem than children of heterosexual parents. The children of lesbian and gay parents grow up as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as the children of heterosexual parents. Source: ACLU.
Adoption. The number of same-sex couples who have adopted children has more than tripled, from 6,500 couples in 2000 to 22,000 in 2010. Of the 594,000 same-sex households in the United States, 115,000 have children.
The same social and mental abilities. Two million LGBT couples have shown an interest in adopting and raising a child. The ability of good parenting is not influenced by sexual orientation. A variety of studies have shown that gay and lesbian couples raise children who have the same social and mental abilities as children raised by a straight couple.
Statistics regarding financial stability. Studies have shown that children are more influenced by their interactions with parents than by their parents’ sexual orientation. Same-sex couples want to adopt a child and are usually older, more educated, and financially stable than other types of adoptive parents.
Same-sex families: estimates in the US. Studies estimate that between 1 and 9 million children in the United States have at least one parent who is lesbian or gay. There are approximately 594,000 same-sex partner households, according to the 2000 Census, and there are children living in approximately 27 percent of those households.
6 million American children. An estimated 37% of LGBT-identified adults have had a child at some time in their lives. An estimated 3 million LGBT Americans have had a child and as many as 6 million American children and adults have an LGBT parent. Among those under age 50 who are living alone or with a spouse or partner, nearly half of LGBT women (48%) are raising a child under age 18 along with a fifth of LGBT men (20%). Source: The Williams Institute.
Stats in the US, continued. According to the Williams Institute, more than 111,000 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 170,000 biological, step, or adopted children. Same-sex couples who consider themselves to be spouses are more than twice as likely to be raising biological, step, or adopted children when compared to same-sex couples who say that they are unmarried partners (31% versus 14%, respectively). Same-sex couples raising children are four times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising an adopted child. An estimated 16,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 22,000 adopted children in the US. Same-sex couples are six times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising foster children. Approximately 2,600 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 3,400 foster children in the US.
Positives of LGBTQ families. “Most research studies show that children with two moms or two dads fare just as well as children with heterosexual parents. In fact, one comprehensive study of children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers concluded that children raised by same-sex parents did not differ from other children in terms of emotional functioning, sexual orientation, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, learning and grade point averages. Where research differences have been found, they have sometimes favored same-sex parents.For example, adolescents with same-sex parents reported feeling more connected at school. Another study reported that children in gay and lesbian households are more likely to talk about emotionally difficult topics, and they are often more resilient, compassionate and tolerant. The same concerns that face many heterosexual parents when they are deciding to have children also face same-sex parents including time, money, and responsibilities of parenthood.”