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Earlier this year, Michael E. Lamb, a University of Cambridge scholar who has testified on behalf of gay parenting in same-sex marriage lawsuits, asserted in a study that neither family structure nor having one’s biological mother and father in the home is necessary for healthy child adjustment.

“[A]vailable evidence is sufficiently conclusive” that “children and adolescents being raised by same-sex parents are as likely to be well-adjusted as children and adolescents with heterosexual parents,” Mr. Lamb concluded in Applied Developmental Science in April.

Researchers should focus on other family issues “rather than … belabor questions that have already been answered,” he added.

Mr. Regnerus cautioned that his study does not attempt to “undermine or affirm arguments” about gay rights or link poor adult outcomes solely to gay parenting.

However, it should raise the bar for research on gay parenting, especially since it is does not rely on “snowball samples,” in which gay parents are recruited in the same places as their gay friends and colleagues, said Patrick Fagan, a family and marriage scholar at the Family Research Council.

The Regnerus study is a “gold standard,” Mr. Fagan said. And if “you can’t draw conclusions from it” about causality, “there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell you can draw conclusions from those other [gay parenting] studies,” he said.