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STUDY: Despite Discrimination, Trans Parents Are Raising Happy Kids

STUDY: Despite Discrimination, Trans Parents Are Raising Happy Kids


A new study finds that transgender parents and their children have positive, healthy relationships, even while they face external barriers.

According to a new report from the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, the vast majority of transgender parents have positive relationships with their children, including after coming out and transitioning.

The study also found that while the children of trans parents may face unique challenges or discrimination, they were developmentally on-target when compared to kids raised by cisgender (nontrans) parents. Children of trans parents also came to identity as LGB or T at the same rates as all other families.

The Williams Institute drew those conclusions by reviewing 51 existing reports about trans parents and their relationships with their children. The reports showed that a significant number of trans people choose to have children, though at a lower rate than their cis peers (25 to 50 percent of trans people versus 65 to 74 percent of cisgender people).

The research pointed out unique variables trans parents may negotiate that not all families face. For instance, higher parenting rates among trans people who transition later in life suggest that many become biological parents before coming out. Further, attempts to remove children from their trans parent's custody, as well as barriers to adopting, can affect parenting experiences.

More information is needed about these factors, says Jody L. Herman, the Manager of Transgender Research at the Williams Institute. Collecting data about trans citizens at the national level, including in the American Community Survey and the National Survey on Family Growth, will be crucial in continuing to develop national benchmarks for trans parents.

"This is a rapidly growing area of research," Herman explained. "In particular, we need more research to better understand the impact of discrimination on transgender parents and their families."

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