(HealthDay News) – For children with same-sex parents, disparities in private health insurance are attenuated when they live in states that protect their legal relationship to both parents, according to research published online Sept. 16 in Pediatrics.

Using data from the 2008–2010 American Community Survey, Gilbert Gonzales, MHA, and Lynn A. Blewett, PhD, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, examined disparities in health insurance coverage for children with same-sex parents. Data were used from 5,081 children with same-sex parents; 1,369,789 children with married opposite-sex parents; and 101,678 children with unmarried opposite-sex parents.

The researchers found that 77.5% of children with married opposite-sex parents had private health insurance coverage, compared with only 63.3% and 67.5%, respectively, of those with duals fathers and dual mothers. After controlling for demographic characteristics, children with same-sex parents had lower odds of private insurance, but not to the same extent as children with unmarried opposite-sex parents. After stratifying children in states with legal same-sex marriage or civil unions, differences in private insurance did not persist for children with dual mothers. Narrower disparities in private insurance coverage were also seen for children with dual fathers and dual mothers for those living in a state that allowed second-parent adoptions.

“Disparities in private health insurance for children with same-sex parents diminish when they live in states that secure their legal relationship to both parents,” the authors write.

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