LGB + Moms and Dads: “My Primary Identity… is Being a Parent”

Brad Forenza, Brian Leigh Dashew, Carrie Bergeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Decades of empirical research has demonstrated that same-sex parenting can produce outcomes that are, at least, comparable to hetero-normative parenting. Less research, however, has examined the common, process-oriented experiences of same-sex adoptive parents. To this end, the current study utilized qualitative interviewing techniques, with nine participants, to discern: (1) the ways in which lesbian and gay adoptive parents came to identify as a family, and (2) the ways in which family formation altered lesbian and gay adoptive parent identities. Collective identity theory helped frame the primary findings. While experiences as “lesbian” or “gay” prospectively informed participant conceptions of family, the paramount identity of “parent” retrospectively usurped all other collective identities. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • LGBT
  • adoption
  • collective identity
  • family formation
  • same-sex parenting


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