By: Jason Holling
I know my headline is going to cause some controversy with heterosexual readers. And I do not mean to imply that a heterosexual parent is a bad parent by any means. But I have been thinking a lot lately about a family with two dads, such as Justin and myself, and what we have to offer that would make us good parents. Being equal to our heterosexual parenting counterparts, we both are college educated, have a nice house, decent jobs, attend church every week……but what sets us apart is we are a non-traditional family. Instead of one mom and one dad, we are two dads!
Digging into articles on the internet helped me better understand what the medical professionals felt about a non-traditional family and if it was a good situation for a child to be raised. There are countless articles on the internet about same-sex households raising children. The ones I read basically boil down to the child is no better or worse off than those with a traditional mom and dad household. The child’s mental health, social skills, and learning ability are all similar to those of their counterparts with a heterosexual family. So I kept contemplating what else could it be that would make a gay couple better parents. And what I came up with is there are two key areas. One is the desire to be a parent and commitment to provide a stable and loving home for the child with many opportunities. The second was the extra things brought to the table in a non-traditional family like tolerance, caring, and compassion for others that the child sees through our relationship.
An interesting fact that I found was that 50% of pregnancies are accidental along heterosexual couples. Try as Justin and I might, there will never be an accidental pregnancy in our household! We make a decision to be parents. Justin and I researched ways to grow our family through adoption and surrogacy. And when we landed on adoption, we submitted our usually private lives to a battery of interviews, fingerprints at the state police, medical exams, and reference checks. We as potential adoptive parents are very motivated and extremely committed to adopt a child and make sure they have every opportunity in the world available to them. As a gay parent, we can’t wait to attend every sporting event, every band/choir performance, and teach our child everything we can about the world. In a nutshell – we can’t wait to experience everything about being a parent!
A second reason that I think gay parents make better parents for a child are the things we bring to the table that heterosexual parents may not. Like open-mindedness and tolerance, compassion, and tolerance for others in different situations then them. One article on the internet interviewed a man that had been raised by two lesbian women. He said he was a more well-rounded and tolerant of a person and felt it was directly related to being raised in a nontraditional family. The child observes the relationship and how respectful and loving the parents are and incorporate that into their life and how they treat others that are different from them. If Justin and I could send one child out into the world that was loving and caring for other people…..that would be the greatest success of us being dads.
So my final thought is that children don’t have to have a mom and dad to grow up right to be a good person – they need two fully committed and loving parents. And that’s just what Justin and I plan to be. Two loving dads that raise the most well-rounded and compassionate child we can.
Read more about Jason and Justin’s journey to become parents on JasonandJustin.com.