Stepfamily Family Functioning and Relationship Stability

Scholars who write about stepfamilies note that for same-sex couples, a triple stigmatization is attached to stepfamilies with gay or lesbian parents. There is a stigma in having a lesbian or gay identity, a related but different stigma attached to parenting as an openly lesbian or gay parent, and there is also a question of legitimacy as a family that often surrounds individuals in stepfamilies. Andrew Cherlin, a family sociologist, offers an important argument about the “incomplete institutionalization” of stepfamilies. He argues that the lack of social norms and institutional support for stepfamilies makes family life more difficult for the adults and children in them.

One can think of stepfamilies formed by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) couples as an even more incomplete institutionalization, especially ...

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