• Parenting;
  • sexual orientation;
  • gender identity;
  • family nursing

TOPIC:  Families in which parents are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are more diverse than they are similar. The numbers of parents and children in these families appear to be increasing with implications for nurses and other clinicians.

PURPOSE:  This paper reviews the current literature to determine the fundamental issues facing alternate families that include sexual minority parents and their children. It also explores the unique nursing needs of families with gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual parents in the field, which are critically examined for direct relevance to psychiatric nursing practice.

SOURCES USED:  Current theoretical and research literature in nursing, child development, family law, and healthcare professional journals.

CONCLUSIONS:  Despite a relative lack of pathology noted in the literature related to families with sexual minority parents, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can incorporate current knowledge of unique child developmental, parenting, and legal issues into their work with these families. Assessments and interventions that address the unique needs of these families may help parents and children to deal with social stress from being perceived as “different” by other children, or as “problematic and threatening” by other parents.