Lesbians make better parents than heterosexual couples, a senior Government parenting adviser has stated.
But critics have hit back saying children need fathers. They also point to a wealth of studies which say children do best when raised by their married biological parents.
Stephen Scott, The Director of Research at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners, pointed to research supporting his claim that lesbians make better parents.
The research from Birkbeck College, part of London University, and Clark University in Massachusetts, claims that same-sex couples made good parents because they could never accidently conceive but instead they have to actively choose to adopt or find a sperm donor.
The research also suggested that children with two female parents are more aspirational than those with male and female parents.
But Ann Widdecombe MP criticised the research warning that it “contradicts every other Government study that has ever been done”.
She said: “These studies, which are quoted so often by the Government and the opposition, clearly show that children do better when they have both a mother and a father figure.”
Mr Scott, who made his remarks at the launch of new Demos parenting report, Building Character, provoked outrage amongst family campaigners who maintain that father’s have an important role in a child’s life.
Jon Davies, chief executive of the Families Need Fathers organisation, said: “Since all children will have a biological father the child has a right to know who that is.”
In 2002 a family policy expert produced the largest review of research into same-sex parenting ever published in Europe. It found that, on average, children raised by homosexual couples had the worst outcomes in terms of education and social adjustment.
Children raised by cohabiting couples did better, but those raised by married couples had the best outcomes, the review concluded.
The research suggested that daughters of lesbian mothers often experienced gender confusion and children with gay parents were more likely to become homosexuals and engage in homosexual behaviour themselves.
Of the 144 academic papers considered in the book, Children as Trophies?, including 50 on same-sex parenting, the author Patricia Morgan found that pro-gay studies commonly neglected the most basic research methods.
She said sample sizes were so small that no deductions could be made, and highlighted one study which was entitled “Gay men make better fathers”, saying that it did not even have any children in the study but merely asked opinions.