The current study examined whether there are differences between gay father families (n = 36) and heterosexual families (n = 36) on father–child relationship, fathers' experiences of parental stress and children's wellbeing. The gay fathers in this study all became parents while in same-sex relationships. They donated sperm to lesbian couples and then shared the child-rearing with them in kinship arrangements. It was also examined whether aspects that are related specifically to gay fathers (i.e., experiences of rejection, having to defend their family situation, with whom the children live, and conflicts with the children's mothers) are also related to the father–child relationship, parental stress and children's wellbeing. Data were collected by means of questionnaires filled in by the fathers. No significant differences between the family types were found on emotional involvement and parental concern in the father–child relationship, parental burden (as an aspect of parental stress) or the children's wellbeing. However, gay fathers felt less competent in their child-rearing role than heterosexual fathers. For gay fathers especially, experiences of rejection and the feeling that they have to defend their situation were significantly related to father–child relationship, parental stress and children's wellbeing.
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