Such decisions are made by the courts based on personal values, not empirical data. In 1999, the American Psychologist published one of the first research studies on the topic of adoptive parenting. "Deconstructing the Essential Father" (Silverstein & Auerbach, 1999) concluded that successful parenting is not gender specific and children do not need fathers or mothers. Rather, any gender configuration of adults could parent equally well. The implication that fathers were not necessary was extremely controversial.
Since then, numerous studies, such as one conducted last year by Ryan of the University of Texas School of Social Work, and Averett and Nalavany of East Carolina University (2009), show that there is no difference in emotional problems experienced by the children who are adopted by heterosexual and gay or lesbian parents. In order to determine their findings, the study's authors used survey results from parents who adopted children through Florida's public...
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