There will be a particular focus on the impact that stigma and discrimination has on these families.Parent and child surveys will be used to collect data and will be available both online and in paper form.
Much more detailed investigation is required however, taking into account different socioeconomic and cultural settings .
Given the benefits of effective interactions with health care providers, particularly in the very early years of childhood where prevention and early intervention, continuity of care and integration of services are central , it is important to establish whether potential barriers, which might include perceived stigma, have an impact on the physical wellbeing of children with same-sex attracted parents.
Given that same-sex attracted people are increasingly raising children it is important to determine how this context impacts on child health and wellbeing.
This paper aims to highlight the findings from research to date on the health and wellbeing of children with same-sex attracted parents and describes an Australian study that aims to measure the health and wellbeing of children aged 0–17 years, with a particular focus on the dimensions of importance to children within this familial context.
In addition, most studies have focused only on families with lesbian parents and have studied only small numbers of children.
The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) is a national study that aims to determine the complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of Australian children under the age 18 years with at least one parent who self identifies as being same-sex attracted.Of some concern however is research from 2001 conducted by Ray and Gregory.They found high levels of bullying experienced by Australian children from same-sex families.Over the last two decades reviews of the literature from Northern Europe and the United States on the health and wellbeing of children with same-sex attracted parents have suggested that there is no difference when these children are compared to children from other family backgrounds with respect to social, emotional, developmental and educational outcomes; the so called ‘no difference consensus’ .Stacey and Biblarz in 2001 were among the first to argue that a closer inspection of the literature identifies a number of areas that do not immediately follow the generally accepted ‘no difference’ hypothesis .Frequently, studies have found that when there is perceived stigma, experiences of rejection or homophobic bullying, children with same-sex attracted parents are more likely to display problems in their psychosocial development .