Children's experiences with parent's disclosure of sexual orientation
This study seeks to examine the dynamics of blended families in non- heteronormative contexts. The goal of the research was to gain a better understanding of the experiences of children who grew up raised in a “normative” family – in which there were two parental figures of the opposite sex coparenting together for a significant portion of their childhood and/or adolescence – transitioning to living in a blended family with a new parental figure or stepparent figure of the same sex as their parent, along with their possible family members. A great deal of the existing literature on blended families bases findings on studies whose subjects are heterosexual, married couples and their young children. This leaves out a large portion of individuals, neglecting valuable information. The following study is an effort to take steps towards filling this gap, representing those whose life experience exists outside of this particular, normative family shape. Though every family is different, and this particular life event has a different effect on each individual experiencing it, subjects in this study largely reflected the following conclusions regarding nonheteronormative families. Support systems, especially those that involved siblings, were significant in the respondents’ lives. They gave stability in potentially traumatic or sudden circumstances. Additionally, parent-- child relationships and partner-child relationships were impacted substantially in various ways. Not because of family members being unsupportive, but instead because parents are often cautious about proceeding with their new relationship, anticipating that their children or other loved ones could interfere with it.