Frequently Asked Questions


I participated in the original Gender Diverse Parent Study, can I participate in the follow up survey (2020) regarding COVID-19/coronavirus?

YES! The follow up study is to collect some more information about the experiences of gender diverse parents and their families. This round of surveys is only for those who identify as non-cisgender and currently reside in the US. If you are cisgender and live outside the US, there will be future studies you can participate in!

I participated in the original Gender Diverse Parent Study but did not participate in the 2018 follow up survey, can I still participate in future surveys?

YES! The follow up study is to collect some more information about the experiences of gender diverse parents and their families.

How will I receive my follow up survey? What if I don't receive an email with the study link?

You should receive an email with a personalized link for you and your partner (if applicable). If you do not receive this link, please email Dr. Tornello at

Is the study still happening?

The original data collection (2016) and follow up study (2018) is currently closed but we are conducting an additional follow up study right now (May 2020). If you want to know more about the study progress click here or email Dr. Tornello at

What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of this study was to examine the many ways families headed by gender diverse parents have been created, explore how families function, and learn about the relationship between partners.

Am I eligible to participate in the study?

To qualify for the study you had to identify as non-cisgender/trans*/gender non-conforming/gender diverse parent and have at least one child of any age, this child can be biological, adopted, foster, step, etc.

How will my information be used?

Your information will be used in data analyses and summaries will be published in peer reviewed journals and presented at professional conferences. We will also summarize findings in a newsletter that we will distribute and will be posted on the study’s website. No personal information will be used!

What if I am single, can I participate?

Yes! Both single and coupled individuals who are parents can participate!

What if I don’t know if my partner will want to participate, can I still participate?

Yes, at the end of the survey we will ask for the contact information for your partner. We will send the information and they can choose to participate or not. No one HAS to participate!

What if I identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, heterosexual, queer, etc… AND/OR trans*, genderqueer, agender, bigender, transgender, etc…can I participate?

Yes! People of all non-cisgender gender identities and sexual orientations who are parents are encouraged to participate!

What if my partner (or I) identifies as cisgender but I (or my partner) does not? Can I still participate?

Yes! Only one member of the couple needed to identify as non-cisgender!

Will you use any of my identifying information?

No! After you complete your survey, all identifying information (such as your email address) will be separated from your data and kept in a separate, secure location.

Has this study been reviewed by an ethic board (Institutional Review Board)?

Yes, the original study has been approved by the Pennsylvania State University (IRB #STUDY00005115) Institutional Review Board. Please contact Dr. Samantha Tornello ( if you have any questions.

The study has begun and some participants have asked questions worth addressing!

Let me answer some of these questions directly!

Why do some of the questions sound negative or clinical in nature?

It is true that some questions may seem negative or positive in nature. All the measures used for this study are what we call standardized measures meaning that they have been used often in psychology research and have a particular design which cannot be altered. For this study, most of the measures have not been altered in anyway. This has great benefits, for example being able to compare children or parents in this study to all children or parents their same age or situation. The drawback is that sometimes the way the questions are stated may not reflect your situation exactly. Answer the questions to the best of your ability and note your issues/concerns at the end of the study.

You can see from some prior work done by Dr. Tornello how these measures are typically used. Click here to see a prior study which examined parenting stress among self-identified cisgender gay fathers. For this study, we explored how parenting stress could be similar or different among gay adoptive fathers compared to what we know about parenting stress among heterosexual, cisgender adoptive parents. We know that parenting is stressful for all parents but this study explored if there were unique factors among gay fathers which policy, practitioners, adoption agencies (etc.) should be aware and sensitive of.

What will happen with this study information?

The goal of the study is to examine the information participants provided as a group, not by individual. I hope to publish the results in empirical academic journals and present them at conferences and meetings. Many of the journals which would publish this work would focus on children’s development, gender, and families. The hope is that these results would be used to educate and advocate for diverse family systems in legal policies, family law, and wider social society.