Gay fathers study shows they receive less parental leave than other couples

Gay fathers study shows they received the same number of weeks off as different-sex couples in just 12% of 33 countries studied

Gay fathers study shows that around the world they receive less paid parental leave than lesbian or heterosexual couples, researchers said on Thursday, with many left struggling to pay household bills if they opt to spend more time at home with their fathers

The study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) examined paternity laws in 33 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that offer paid leave to new parents.

First published in the Journal of Social Policy, the research found that gay male couples received the same number of weeks off as different-sex couples in just 12% of those nations.

Lesbian couples received equitable time off in just under 60% of the countries studied, researchers found after examining legislation gathered by the International Labour Organization in 2016. Some countries have since updated their leave policies.

“A lot of the differences in leave stem from gender stereotypes where women are the primary caregivers,” Elizabeth Wong, the lead author, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“That not only affects heterosexual couples, it greatly disadvantages same-sex male couples.”

Laws in most countries did not prohibit same-sex couples from paid leave, but policies only referenced the needs of heterosexual couples and did not acknowledge same-sex couples.

As of 2019, same-sex marriage was legal in less than 30 countries, and gay sex remains illegal in about 70 countries.

The rise of far-right political parties around the world has raised concern around LGBT+ rights, and the fight for parenthood or adoption rights is a legislative battle even in countries like Germany.

On average, same-sex male couples had five fewer months of paid leave than different-sex couples, while same-sex females received three fewer months than heterosexual couples, researchers said.

The study did not address transgender or non-binary couples.

Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and Sweden were the only countries to offer the same paid leave to all couples, including gay men, ranging from 18 to 70 weeks.

While companies in Switzerland often offer parental leave to men, only a minority of people benefited, said Jody Heymann, a director at WORLD Policy Analysis Center.

“There’s little doubt that if you want to avoid discrimination, it’s far better for paid leave to be done through social insurance,” said Heymann of government funded public health programs.

A 2018 report from the WORLD Policy Analysis Center found that OECD countries that offered six months paid parental leave saw increased numbers of workers and no change to unemployment or economic growth.

Thomson Reuters Foundation by Kate Ryan, September 5, 2019

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Kids of Gay Dads Are Just Fine, Study Finds

We’ve heard it before, but another study couldn’t hurt, right? New research from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children of gay dads are just as well adjusted as their peers born to straight parents.

In preliminary findings published Saturday, pediatrician Ellen C. Perrin of Tufts Medical Center and her research team compiled survey responses from 732 gay fathers in 47 U.S. states about their children. Of these dads, 88 percent said it was “not true” that their child is unhappy or depressed, whereas in a federal survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of parents in the U.S., 87 percent said the same of their children. Similarly, while 75 percent of the parents in the federal survey said that their child “does not worry a lot,” 72 percent of the gay dads said the same. All in all, the numbers nearly line up.

gay dads, gay fathers, gay parenting

And in some cases, these dads are raising happy kids against the odds: Perrin’s research found that 33 percent of the dads reported encountering “barriers to sharing custody of their children.” Another 41 percent ran into pushback trying to adopt a child, and 18 percent encountered it while using surrogacy to have a baby.

The survey results also help break down trends in how gay dads have kids. While the largest percentage of gay dads have children through adoption or foster care, 36 percent say their children were born while one of the dads was in a straight relationship. Another 14 percent became parents through surrogacy.

The research, to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting this week, adds to the small but growing body of research about gay parents and their kids. Recent studies have shown that children of lesbians have higher rates of self-esteem and lower rates of conduct problems than their straight-parented peers. And earlier this year, researchers released an enormous literature review of 19,000 studies about gay parenting published since 1977, finding—you guessed it—that children of gay parents are no worse off than any other kids.

Click here to read the entire article., by Zoe Schlanger – 4.30.2016