The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement in support of same-sex parents’ right to wed as well as to foster or adopt children, saying its “in the best interests” of the children. Family Research Council and an alternative group, American College of Pediatrics (ACP) argue otherwise.
“We know enough about child development that we can say that children are nurtured when they have two loving, supportive, committed-to-each-other adults to take care of them,” says Dr. Ben Siegel, a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and a co-author of the policy statement. “Kids growing up with two same-sex parents are as normally developed as the rest of the population.”
Other scientists called the evidence lackluster and said the academy’s endorsement was premature, according to New York Times. Loren Marks, an associate professor of child and family studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, said there was not enough national data to support the pediatric association’s position on same-sex marriage. “National policy should be informed by nationally representative data,” he said.
The research on same-sex marriage has limitations, experts note, including the relatively small sample sizes of gay or lesbian parents even in long-term studies. Many studies have relied on parental assessments of their children’s well-being, and there is relatively little data about the well-being of children raised by gay men compared with lesbians.
Family Research Council has also called AAP’s policy statement as misleading, as a research published last year by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus – the most methodologically-sound research on the subject ever done, using a large and representative population-based sample – which showed children whose parents had a homosexual relationship suffered numerous disadvantages compared with children raised by their married, biological mother and father.
Moreover, FRC said that it is unclear whether the “Policy Statement” accurately represents the views of any more pediatricians than the two lead authors and the six members of the AAP’s Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.
The American College of Pediatricians also released a statement reaffirming that the intact, functional family consisting of a married (female) mother and (male) father provides the best opportunity for children. ACP then disputes AAP’s claim and says that AAP ignores important research on risks to children in favor to the wants of adults.