By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com January 31 2012 7:40 PM ET
New findings by University of California, Los Angeles's Williams Institute show that LGBT families are incredibly diverse, but having children in proportionately smaller numbers than they were a decade ago.
The demographic data, published by the National Council on Family Relations in its Family Focus newsletter, indicates the South has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children, with 26%. In New England, 24% of gay couples are raising kids, and 21% are doing so in West Coast states. While in 2000, 17% of all same-sex couples reported raising children, 16% reported to the Census in 2009 that they're raising kids. Though the percentage of LGBT families raising kids dropped a percentage point, the actual number of same-sex couples with children increased in the 2000s because more same-sex couples are reporting their information to the Census. The percentage drop could be attributed to fewer LGBT people having biological children with opposite-sex partners before entering into same-sex relationships.
Adoptions, specifically, rose in the 2000s, with 19% of same-sex couples acting as adoptive parents in 2009, compared to 10% at the start of the decade. While couples who adopt are twice as likely to be white than minority, gay people of color are clearly raising more children, proportionately, than Caucasian couples. African-American and other minority same-sex couples are 2.4 times more likely to be parents than their white counterparts. It's not clear how many mixed-race couples are raising children.
Click here to read more of the findings, compiled by Williams scholar Gary Gates.