The fact that many gay couples are parents has coined a colorful, dazzling term: Rainbow Family.
In most cases, the children come from previous heterosexual relationships. Lesbian couples can also follow the route of artificial insemination to fulfill their desire to have children. Adoption of foster children or adoption is less common.
“Rainbow families” or same sex parenting are repeatedly compared by the environment with classic family and role concepts. For this family form, as for all other forms, the following applies: if a child receives security, love, trust, and support, it can develop.
The bond with the parents is decisive for educational achievement. The family atmosphere, dealing with conflicts, empathetic, and supportive behavior of the parents is of great importance for the development of the child.
Fathers and mothers usually ensure that children have many different adult caregivers. Children are looking for female and male role models.
What often affects children from same sex parenting is prejudice against their parents. They understood what many people did not understand: love is different from sexuality.
Do children from same-sex parents develop differently than other children?
There are no differences in the development of children of homosexual or heterosexual parents. Gender role behavior, the development of sexual orientation, and social integration are comparable to other children. The likelihood that they will become homosexual is not higher or lower than in society as a whole.
If life in a same sex parenting has a negative impact on children, this is more due to the consequences of divorce, negative reactions from relatives, discrimination in the environment, or a late coming-out of the parents.
What is the situation of the children?
Children love their parents. At first, they don't care whether they are two mothers, for example. This is especially true for children who grow up in a rainbow family from birth.
Children who initially grew up in a heterosexual family will have to get used to it if, for example, dad's new partner is a man.
Only openness helps here. Talk to your child. Explain your feelings. Children are very sensitive. And you have a right to the truth.
Children from the same sex parenting have a lot to cope with. They quickly realize that their family's private life is far less accepted by the environment than that of other families. The reactions of the environment are often incomprehensible and hurtful.
Exchange with other young people who are in the same situation is particularly beneficial for young people. They often feel alone with their problems.
It becomes particularly difficult when children from rainbow families have to deny their family relationships. Sometimes they experience their parents as “cowards”.
An aggressive approach by parents to their homosexuality also allows their children to speak more openly about it. To cope with an environment that they encounter with prejudice, mostly out of ignorance, they need the support of their parents.
Does the civil partnership law bring changes for families with same-sex parents?
If same sex parenting registers their civil partnership, the civil partnership law brings some changes, such as:
- Small custody: The partner of the sole custodial parent can have a say in matters of everyday life.
- Right of access: After separation, there is a right of access if this is in the best interests of the child.
- Death: If the biological parent dies, the chances are greater than before that the child can stay with the previous partner.
- Parental leave: Parental leave can also be claimed by the partner.
- Adoption: The biological (but not the adopted) child of one partner can be adopted by the other using “step-parent adoption”.
What is “same sex marriage”?
In most countries, people of the same sex can marry each other. It is also possible to convert existing registered civil partnerships into a marriage. However, no new civil partnerships have been registered.
The legal regulations on “same sex marriage” do not affect questions of parentage law. The law still assigns legal parenting to a mother and father. A “co” or “with” parenthood of two mothers or fathers was not included in the law.
In the case of a same-sex married couple, the spouse of the birth mother does not become a father in the legal sense and also not a “co” or “with” mother. There can also be no recognition of paternity by two male spouses or life partners; recognition of paternity by a woman is also disregarded.