The Kids Are Not All Right

Children in same-sex households face an increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems

“Many children raised by gay parents are now young or middle-aged adults. Some say their upbringing was positive, but a growing number are beginning to speak out against what they feel is a dysfunctional parenting model.”


Heather Barwick always found it easy to love her mom. But loving two moms? That was a bit more complicated.

Barwick was around 3 years old when her parents divorced, and her dad rarely visited afterward. Her mom began a relationship with another woman that lasted a decade. It wasn’t until Barwick entered kindergarten in Maryland that she realized other kids didn’t live with same-sex parents. The boys in school thought it was awesome her mom was a lesbian.

Yet, while Barwick knew her biological mom loved her, she felt troubled by the absence of a dad she barely remembered. “I felt like I had this huge hole. And it just ate at me. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t there, why he didn’t love me.” Her relationship with her “other mom” felt awkward. By age 10 Barwick had asked to see a counselor, and by 15 she was seeking male attention from boyfriends. “I really used sex at a young age as a way to feel loved.”

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