Childless Lesbian and Gay Adults’ Self-Efficacy About Achieving Parenthood

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Abstract

Lesbian and gay people are much less likely than others to become parents, and psychological factors may contribute to this difference. We explored self-efficacy about becoming a parent among geographically diverse, childless, lesbian and gay U.S. residents aged 18 to 44 years (n = 1,098). On average, participants reported that they were uncertain whether they could overcome financial barriers to parenthood or become biological parents without assistance from reproductive health providers. However, they were somewhat optimistic about overcoming barriers to adoptive and foster parenthood, and they were optimistic that they could somehow achieve parenthood if they wanted to. Participants who were younger, who reported that children with lesbian or gay parents enjoy positive outcomes, and who lived in social climates favorable for members of sexual minorities reported the highest self-efficacy about achieving parenthood. These results contribute to understanding of family formation among sexual minority adults.

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