Pediatricians Urged to Support Adoption Rights for Homosexuals

July 7, 2008 - 8:03 PM

( - A national organization of pediatricians is urging its 55,000 members to support legislation to allow both partners in homosexual couples to have full rights to adopt children.

According to a new policy statement, "Co-parent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports "legal and legislative efforts that provide for the possibility of adoption of those children by the second parent or co-parent in same-sex relationships."

In short, as the law stands now, homosexual partners cannot jointly adopt a child, which is a right reserved for only married couples. Since no state allows homosexual marriage, only one partner can have legal custody of a child both partners are raising.

What the AAP is recommending is that the law allow for the partner of the parent to be able to also adopt the child, which would give legal parental rights to both homosexual partners.

The report, which appeared Monday in the AAP journal "Pediatrics," is based on studies that homosexuals make just as good parents as traditional families do, and claims "no data have ever pointed to any risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with one or more gay parents."

Dr. Ellen Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at Tufts New England Medical Center, wrote the technical report, which summarized the research on which the policy statement is based, and also served as a consultant to the committee that wrote the report.

She said the academy took a careful look at studies on the effects of children living with homosexual parents to make sure they gave the correct recommendation.

"There has been in the last decade lots of research that has looked at the outcome for parents and children, where the parents are gay and lesbian, and looking at the emotional, cognitive, and sexual development of those children," Perrin said.

"All the research has given absolutely no evidence of disadvantage to those children, compared to children who grow up with a mother and a father in the home," she said.

"Once the academy was convinced that there was evidence that this is an arrangement that is good for children, and once they were convinced of that, they supported the statement," Perrin added.

But despite the careful research the academy did prior to making its report, it now finds itself in a political firestorm over homosexual rights.

Of course, hot-button issues are nothing new for the AAP, which also has supported gun control and banning television for children under 2 years old, and opposed mandatory disclosure to parents when patients are considering abortion.

Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council, pointed to other research that shows children are healthiest when raised by traditional families.

"There is an abundance of research demonstrating that children do best when raised by a mother and a father who are committed to one another in marriage," Connor said. "Mothers and fathers alike make significant contributions to the physical, emotional and social development of their children.

"To support a policy that would intentionally deprive a child of such benefits is unconscionable," he said.

Connor added that widely known social problems in homosexual communities are proof enough that homosexual couples should not be given special rights to adopt children.

"The sad fact is that promiscuity, domestic violence, and other problems endemic to the homosexual lifestyle make these relationships inherently unstable, and thus unsuitable for the raising of children," he said.

Dr. William J. Maier, a child and family psychologist at Focus on the Family, said that the AAP has "submitted to the will of homosexual advocates in its ranks-at the expense of scientific honesty and the very children it seeks to serve."

He added that studies on the topic are "fraught with methodological flaws" and "motivated by political agendas and ultimately offer no scientific justification" for such a decision.

"This decision defies what decades of research confirm-that children do best when there is a mother and father, married to one another, in the home," Maier said. "Parenting is more than the random contributions of any configuration of people.

"Both mothers and fathers provide unique and irreplaceable contributions," he said. "Children desperately need this balance-and no amount of political posturing can change that."

But political posturing is just what the AAP is avoiding, Perrin said.

"The Academy of Pediatrics has no interest in having this be a political issue, and we in fact don't consider it a political issue," she said. "All the American Academy of Pediatrics is saying in this report is that children deserve to have nurturing and stable relationships with both their parents."

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