Social Support and Psychological Well-Being in Lesbian and Heterosexual Preadoptive Couples


*Abbie E. Goldberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610 ( JuliAnna Z. Smith is a methodological consultant at the Center for Research on Families, University of Massachusetts—Amherst, 622 Tobin Hall, Amherst, MA 01003 (


Abstract: This study examines predictors of social support and mental health among 36 lesbian and 39 heterosexual couples who were waiting to adopt. Lesbian preadoptive partners perceived less support from family than heterosexual partners but similar levels of support from friends. Lesbian and heterosexual partners reported similar levels of well-being. Aspects of the adoption process were associated with anxiety, whereas couples’ conception history was associated with depression. Adoption practitioners should acknowledge these distinct pathways in prevention efforts.