The AAP stresses that coming from a stable loving environment influences who children become much more than their parents sexual orientation does.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, whose membership is made up of more than 60,000 pediatricians, published an announcement today stating that they support same-sex marriage. They said, “such unions benefit children, providing them with legal and financial security.” They also fully support adoption and foster care rights for gay couples. According to the New York Times,
The academy’s review of scientific literature began more than four years ago, and the result is a 10-page report with 60 citations.
The academy cited research finding that a child’s well-being is much more affected by the strength of relationships among family members and a family’s social and economic resources than by the sexual orientation of the parents. “There is an emerging consensus, based on extensive review of the scientific literature, that children growing up in households headed by gay men or lesbians are not disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents,” the academy said.
A large body of evidence demonstrates that children raised by gay or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive and social functioning as peers raised by heterosexuals, the academy said.
“Marriage strengthens families and benefits child development, and it also increases a parent’s sense of competence and security when they are able to raise children without stigma,” said Dr. Nanette Gartrell, the lead author of the study and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.
Critics of the study however claim that the endorsement of same-sex marriage by the academy is “premature.” An associate professor of child and family studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Loren Marks said that there is not yet enough data on a national level to support the position the pediatric association has take on gay marriage. He said, “National policy should be informed by nationally representative data. We are moving in the direction of higher-quality national data, but it’s slow.” Others cite small sample sizes as a concern as well.
Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky