Here's the thing about science: It's ever-evolving. Research conducted 20 years may not be relevant today. You may actually be surprised by some new information. Like, you'll never believe what this study says about babies born via sperm donors. Ready? They're just like everyone else! I'll give you a second to be shocked.
According to Fit Pregnancy, new research published in the journal, Reproductive Bio-Medicine Online discovered that kids born using donated sperm excel just as much as children conceived "the old fashioned away." Particularly, the results showed that infants born using sperm donors fare as well as their counterparts when it came to health and well-being. And researchers found that the similarities existed across different family type; whether a kid who was born via a sperm donor was raised by a single mom, lesbians, or opposite-sex parents didn't have an impact on their physical or mental health.
Lead author David Amor, a professor at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said in a statement,
For prospective parents, the decision to use donor sperm can seem like a step into the unknown. Our results should provide reassurance that the physical, psychological and mental health of children conceived using donor sperm is similar to that of children in the general population.
As someone who was raised by lesbians, I've heard my fair share of unfounded theories about how my same-sex household was damaging me and my sisters. Of course, that ridiculous belief is based on morality and not actual science; decades of research, as collected by Columbia Law School's What We Know Project, have proven that children raised by same-sex parents are doing alright.
The same theory exists about kids raised by single parents. In 2013, The Atlantic ran an alarmist feature about the rise in single parenthood in the United States, positing that "single parenting, particularly single mothers, represents both a promise and a problem." It's not to say that single parents do not face unique barriers not seen by two-parent households, but it's problematic to frame single parenthood as a "huge problem without an easy explanation."
Which leads me to research published earlier this month by the European Society of Human Reproduction Embryology. The study from the ESHRE found that, much like kids born using sperm donors, children raised by single mothers-by-choice do just as well as their two-parent counterparts.
In the end, you don't need research to tell you that kids born using sperm donors — or raised by two dads or living with a single mom — do just as well physically and mentally as children in opposite-sex families. The fact is, it's not the way someone is conceiving or the make-up of their family that affects their well-being. It's the actual dynamic of the family.
Less time should be spent on pushing antiquated ideology about what a family should look like and more time on making sure all children have the resources and support they need to thrive.