Health Care Bias and Discrimination Experienced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Parents of Children With Developmental Disabilities: A Qualitative Inquiry in the United States

Published:September 29, 2022DOI:


      This study explored the impact of health care (HC) bias and discrimination on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) parents and their children with disabilities in the United States, including the timing of developmental screening and diagnosis.


      We conducted semistructured interviews with 16 LGBTQ parents of children with developmental concerns or disabilities recruited through a prior national survey. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a combined inductive and deductive approach.


      Discrimination types reported included noninclusive forms, disclosure challenges, and providers dismissing nongestational parents and diverse families. Few parents reported screening and diagnosis delays. Parents’ recommendations included: avoiding assumptions, honoring family diversity, increasing LGBTQ family support, improving HC forms, increasing antibias training, and convening a learning community.


      Our study advances the knowledge around HC bias and discrimination among LGBTQ parents of children with disabilities. Findings highlight the need for increased LGBTQ-affirming family support and research representing LGBTQ family diversity in U.S. health care.


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