Same-sex couples raise the most open-minded children, a new study has revealed.

Children raised by lesbian parents received the highest "quality of parenting", research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has found.

The study also found that the number of same-sex couple parented families in Australia is growing and that children with lesbian parents were better equipped than other children to deal with issues of equality and diversity.

Lesbian mother-of-two Zann Michaels said the biggest plus of having two mums was the double dose of maternal instinct.


She told Daily Mail Australia: "The easiest way to be a great parent is to want to be a great parent.

"That goes for everyone - gay, straight, married and single.

"I think the difference with lesbian couples generally is you have two maternal people coming together and being very deliberate about creating their families."

Mrs Michaels, from Queensland, married her partner Shan in Canada in 2011 and the couple have two daughters in Quin, four, and Arlo, two.

Although it was mostly an 'incredible' experience raising her children in a same-sex relationship, it did have some downfalls, she said.

"The biggest challenge is other people's views and how they affect our girls.

"Already we are having to give our girls the words to use when another kid says that families can't have two mums.

"It's our job to make sure they understand why people think and talk the way they do.

"And to build so much confidence in themselves that anyone else's words will never have the power to hurt them."

Lesbian couples could also share and empathise with the particular difficulties of being a mother, Mrs Michaels said.

She also explained how lesbian couples tended to raise children who were more accepting of diversity and gender equality.

"Also, with two mums the gender stereotyping and gender roles are really non-existent. It's not Shan's job to raise the kids while I work.

"While she definitely puts in more hours, we're both equally invested in making sure our girls are happy and healthy.

"And that flows into how we raise our kids. They see that we just work together and do what works for our family.

"Being a woman, I can absolutely sympathise and understand how emotional being a parent can be.

"I think it makes all the difference to have a partner who gets it, without question.

"With Shan, I get all the hormones, and the ups and downs, and how much energy she puts into being a great mummy.

"I can see it, I can feel it and I appreciate it."

Why are same sex couples better parents?

The research focused on a range of Australian and international studies on same-sex parenting. It found that:

• Same-sex parenting was not harmful to children.
• Children with same-sex parents develop the same as other children.
• They receive 'better quality' parenting and are more open-minded.
• The biggest issue they face is the social stigma of having same-sex parents.

Source: Australian Institute of Family Studies