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We believe that the most important thing for a child is to grow up surrounded by love.
That the definition of family is more colourful than we would sometimes think.
That family is family, even if the parents happen to be of the same sex.
The only important thing is that they are people.
Be open and listen to the rainbow parents.
What you can do?
The concept of marriage and family has been changing for thousands of years.
Although the idealised model is two parents of different sexes and their children, there are other kinds of families.
Nowadays more and more same-sex couples decide to raise children or plan to do so in the near future, but in the eyes of the law, only the adoptive or biological parent is considered a legal parent. The other member of the couple cannot to adopt their partner’s child that they are raising together.
The scientific consensus is that parents’ sexual orientation does not negatively affect child development, however, since one of the parents has no parental rights, the child’s interest is violated.
Family is family, a child is a child, and all children have to be granted equal rights.
Not only heterosexual couples would like to marry or start a family: more and more LGBTQI people would too. Unfortunately, even more people form an opinion without a deeper understanding of the topic. We talked to gay and lesbian parents who were willing to answer questions from people on the web about having and raising children.
Mária KristófyGrandmother, pensioner, musician, singer
She lived in a straight marriage for almost 30 years, knowing she was a lesbian. After her children had grown up, she divorced and remained on good terms with her ex-husband. She believes that for a family supporting each other and being surrounded by love are very important.
György MészárosRainbow parent, university professor, researcher
He is a pedagogy expert, and has been working with children and youngsters for 28 years, and he used to teach disadvantaged children for 7 years. He adopted his son as a single parent 3 years ago. Dávid is 7 years old and has just started school.
Ádám Hanol and Marci PálRainbow parents
They have been a couple for 10 years, and they have been living in a registered partnership for 5 years. They adopted their son, Andris, in 2018 after 3 years of waiting. They are doing everything they can so that their son can grow up in an open and accepting society.
Zsófi MüllerRainbow parent
She is 37, and she met her wife, Adri, 6 years ago. They got married in August 2019, and with the help of one of their friends, their soon-to-be 6-month old child was conceived during their honeymoon.
We also talked to experts in sociology, psychology and child education to help give people an overview of the situation of rainbow families in Hungary, the controversial topic of having children, its psychological characteristics and the main points of international studies.
Krisztina RózsaEarly childhood educator
She has been working at a nursery in Budapest for six years where she not only takes care of children, but educates experts and takes part in programmes designed for parents.
Julianna LászlóffyClinical psychologist, family and couples therapist
She mainly works with LGBTQ+ adolescents, adults, couples and families, she leads psychodrama self-awareness groups, and she is a founding member and vice president of the LGBTQ section of the Hungarian Psychological Association.
Judit TakácsSociologist, doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Dávid SzélCounselling psychologist, university professor
Author of the blog Apapara where he writes about being a father, psychology and social issues, since according to current social psychology an accepting society is more successful and happier than an exclusionary one.
Éva BúsHungarian literature teacher, class teacher
She has been a teacher for more than 40 years and she witnessed the problem of expressing and judging sexual orientation. She supports the goals of rainbow families, their fights for human rights, since family is family.
If you are unsure as a straight parent what you can do or what you should say on the topic to your child, this knowledge base will certainly help you.
Use the word ’gay’ instead of ’homosexual’ or ’fag’.
The gay community doesn’t like being called a ’fag’, as it is pejorative. Among each other, in special circumstances, they sometimes use it to refer to each other, but usually, they don’t like it being used by others. They don’t like the word ’homosexual’ either, because it is an old, medical expression that comes from the time when same-sex attraction was perceived as some sort of a physical or mental illness. Using this word reminds them of these times.
Don’t be afraid to use the word ’gay’ or ’lesbian’, and talk about them.
These words shouldn’t sound alien, so teach them to your children. For example: Why is Uncle Tamás and Gergő living together? Because they’re gay. Aunt Panka and Eszter are not close friends, they’re lesbians. You don’t have to overcomplicate it, make it simple and natural. If someone in front of your child is mocking someone by calling them ’gay’, ask them what they think gay means. If you handle the topic naturally, your child will handle it that way too.
You don’t have to pretend that half of the world’s population is gay.
Don’t trivialise the fact that your child may be surprised. “Wow, Andris has two fathers, how is that possible?” Children usually meet families with a mother and a father, so it’s completely natural if they get surprised, give them some time. Be honest, use the words ‘most’ and ‘some’, for example: “most families have a mum and a dad, but some families have two mums or two dads”.
Honesty is the best policy.
Your child may think that having two mothers or two fathers is weird, or they think you’re kidding, but that only proves that you two need to talk about it. Don’t leave them in ignorance. Children appreciate honest. Explain to them that even though gay families are less frequent than the usual mother-father parent setup, they are still just as valuable. They are no better or no worse than a traditional family, only different.
Don’t mistake social sensitivity with sexual education.
It may seem strange, but some parents when they think of being gay and children, they believe that they have to hold a sexual education class to young children. It is absolutely not the case, teaching sensitivity is not the same as sexual education. You only have to answer the questions your child asks, let the rest be done by specialists at school. If your child asks why Andris has two dads, tell them because their dads love each other.
Use the word ‘love’.
Don’t be afraid to use the word ‘love’, because that’s exactly the case. Don’t say things like “as a boy, he’s attracted to boys”, or “some boys like other boys”. Everyone likes someone, even your children. A young boy might think that if he likes his friends, he may be gay too. Rather compare a gay relationship to your marriage: “You know, how much your mum and I love each other. His mums or dads love each other just as much.”
Teaching sensitivity is not about your child’s sexual orientation.
The issue of gay parents is a diverse topic, you can talk a lot to your child about it, but they most probably won’t want to think about their own sexuality after that. Don’t say things like “maybe one day you’ll be together with a man, son”, because that may even confuse them. Your child will have plenty of time to figure out their own feelings. The most important thing for them to feel loved by you, whatever happens.
If your children ask you to predict the future, you can tell them that there is a great chance they will be heterosexual.
Very important, you should only talk about this if your child specifically asks about it. If they wonder about who their partner will be, you can tell them that it’s probably a person from the opposite sex, and you’ll accept whoever they choose.
Remember the magic sentence: love makes a family a family.
Even though they don’t necessarily know exactly how babies are made, they are aware of the fact pretty soon that only women can be pregnant and they have babies. If a child knows that, they can wonder how someone can have two fathers. Don’t try to go into unnecessary details, have honest communication. You can say that a child raised by gay parents has a mother too who gave them life, but their fathers are the ones who love them and raise them.
The most important thing: talk to your children.
Your children will sooner or later come across rainbow families, even if it’s just in a movie. It’s important for you not to get embarrassed when they ask about the topic. Don’t change the subject, don’t tell them they’re too young to understand, and don’t ever lie to them, since by this you tell them that there’s something wrong with rainbow families. This is true for all other family models – tell them that the other family is just a bit different than yours, and how great it is that we’re not all similar.