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LGBTQ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal

For a Special Issue on

LGBTQ+ parenting in China: Mapping research base and identifying research gaps

Abstract deadline
01 July 2023

Manuscript deadline
15 December 2023

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Yiu Tung SUEN, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
[email protected]

Darius LONGARINO, Yale University
[email protected]

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LGBTQ+ parenting in China: Mapping research base and identifying research gaps

LGBTQ+ parenting as a phenomenon has gradually transformed from being invisibilized and ignored by policy makers, service providers, and the public, to gaining increased social and policy attention and recognition. Research has found that the number of LGBTQ+ parents is actually much larger than what the general public and policy makers have imagined, and that there are diverse pathways into LGBTQ+ parenthood, with heterogeneous lived experiences of LGBTQ+ parents and their children. Such research has been influential in the debate about legal recognition of LGBTQ+ parents, especially where policy makers and the general public are concerned about the impact of LGBTQ+ parenting on children’s well-being.

While there is an increasing research literature on LGBTQ+ parenting, it has been commented that such research has been developed mainly in a Euro-American (Westernized) cultural context (Lubbe 2013; Costa & Shenkman 2020). It has been suggested that such research has generally taken on a ‘no difference’ approach, comparing LGBTQ+ parents with those of other sexual and gender identities, as well as children of these different groups of parents.

In a review of research on LGBTQ+ parents in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America (Costa & Shenkman 2020), it was pointed out that although there has been some research in these regions, most such research has been published in languages other than English, and has been almost exclusively small qualitative studies. Despite the growing number of studies on same-gender relationships and the pursuit of legalization of same-gender marriage in Taiwan and Japan (e.g., Jeffreys & Wang, 2018; Tamagawa, 2016), the number of studies on LGBTQ+ parent families remains quite limited in Asia, and in particular, China. This is indeed perplexing that there is little known about LGBTQ+ parents in China, home to one of the largest LGBTQ+ populations in the world. While research on LGBTQ+ issues in China has been growing, LGBTQ+ parents have not been a particularly strong focus of such research.

This proposed special issue aims to publish current research and identify research gaps in the diverse field of research on LGBTQ+ parenting in China. It aims to be a valuable resource with contributions from diverse disciplinary, theoretical and methodological backgrounds, published in English language, and accessible to an international audience. It is expected that the special issue will be of great use to teachers, researchers, activists, journalists, and policy makers, in China, in Asia, as well as internationally, who want to know more about the topic.

A list of possible topics to be covered in articles in the special issue include but not be limited to:

  • Chinese public’s attitudes towards LGBTQ+ parenting
  • Chinese LGBTQ+ people’s attitudes towards LGBTQ+ parenting and the factors that influence their desire and intention for LGBTQ+ parenting
  • Population estimate of the prevalence of LGBTQ+ parenting in China as well as their distribution in different regions of the country
  • Pathways to Chinese LGBTQ+ parenting (conceptualizing the subgroups of Chinese LGBTQ+ parents, e.g. lesbian mothers, and queer parents who undergo ART overseas)
  • Experiences and challenges (legal, cultural, and social) faced by different subgroups of Chinese LGBTQ+ parents
  • Media (and the lack thereof) of representations of Chinese LGBTQ+ parents and their children
  • Experiences of children of Chinese LGBTQ+ parents
  • Methodological challenges and reflections on studying Chinese LGBTQ+ parents

For the special issue, we seek original research articles, as well as theoretical and review papers, on all aspects of family experience – including family structure, relationships, communication, therapy, and functioning – of Chinese LGBTQ+ parents and their children, in line with the aims of LGBTQ+ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal (

It is also expected that the articles will be interdisciplinary in scope. The disciplines that the special issue aims to cover include but not limited to: Sociology, Family Studies, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Psychology, Law, Public Health, Education, Social Work, Social Policy, Area Studies, Media and Communication Studies, and beyond.

Diverse methodological viewpoints are also welcomed for the special issue.

We also hope to include practitioners’ and activists’ viewpoints if possible. The field is still rapidly growing and we believe that their voices will be very instructive and useful for learning about the field. The Peer Review Policy of the journal will be followed. All research, theoretical, and review articles in this journal will be submitted to rigorous peer review, based on initial editorial screening and blind review by 2 to 3 referees.

Submission Instructions

Timeline for the special issue:

Jul 1, 2023: Deadline to submit a brief abstract (1-2 double spaced pages describing the article) to the special issue editors via email.  Please send abstracts to:  [email protected]

Sep 30, 2023:  Review of abstracts will be completed and invitations for submitting full papers sent

Dec 15, 2023: Deadline for submitting full papers

March 1, 2024: Review of full papers to be completed

May 1, 2024:  Revisions of full papers to be completed

Summer 2024:  Possible additional review and revisions

Fall 2024:  Special issue publication

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