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Keywords:

  • lesbian families;
  • child rearing;
  • child adjustment;
  • mothers and fathers

One hundred planned lesbian-parent families (i.e., two-mother families in which the child was born to the lesbian relationship) were compared with 100 heterosexual-parent families on child adjustment, parental characteristics, and child rearing. Questionnaires, observations, and a diary of activities were used to collect the data. The results show that especially lesbian social mothers (i.e., nonbiological mothers) differ from heterosexual fathers on parental characteristics (e.g., more parental justification and more satisfaction with the partner as coparent) and child rearing (e.g., more parental concern and less power assertion). Child adjustment is not associated with family type (lesbian-parent families vs. heterosexualparent families), but is predicted by power assertion, parental concern, and satisfaction with the partner as coparent.