Controversial Parenting Study Reaches the Courts

The debunked study that accused same-sex parents of being inferior to their straight counterparts is now being wielded by proponents of DOMA in courts.



Left: Dr. Debra Umberson


Debra Umberson, a sociology professor and colleague of Regnerus’ at the University of Texas, called the study “irresponsible and reckless” and labeled it “pseudo-science.”

Asked about the discrepancy, Trumbull defended the ACP’s brief. He said his group believes that Regnerus’ study compares children raised by married biological parents to those raised by same-sex couples. He said the fact that most of the supposed gay parents Regnerus’ study looked at were not intact couples likely had more to do with what he suggested was the unstable nature of same-sex relationships than it did with a flaw in the study’s design.  

“The American College of Pediatricians stands by its amicus brief,” he said.

Though Trumbull said that the New Family Structures Study was “not a perfect study,” he argued that the study’s merits outweighed its weaknesses and that it was “worthy of the court knowing.”

“That study was the first large, randomized sample looking at the comparison between those raised by adults in same-sex relationships with those raised by heterosexual couples,” he said. “The reason we feel this study is useful is it counters the strong unequivocal conclusions that other researchers have made from much weaker studies saying the child outcomes of those raised by same sex parents is equal.”