The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a professional group representing some 60,000 pediatricians in the United States, issued a “policy statement” March 20 giving its stamp of approval on the legalization of same-sex marriage. In its latest statement the group, which first threw its weight behind adoption by gay couples in 2002, confirmed that it “supports access for all children to (1) civil marriage rights for their parents and (2) willing and capable foster and adoptive parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation.”
Because the family “has always been the basic social unit in which children develop the supporting and nurturing relationships with adults that they need to thrive,” the pediatrics body explained, it thus supports “families in all their diversity.” It declared that children “may be born to, adopted by, or cared for temporarily by married couples, non-married couples, single parents, grandparents, or legal guardians, and any of these may be heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or of another orientation.”
The group claimed scientific evidence affirms that children receive “similar parenting whether they are raised by parents of the same or different genders. If a child has 2 living and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond by way of civil marriage, it is in the best interests of their child(ren) that legal and social institutions allow and support them to do so, irrespective of their sexual orientation.” Similarly, the group continued, if two individuals identified as “parents” are not available, “adoption or foster parenting remain acceptable options to provide a loving home for a child and should be available without regard to the sexual orientation of the parent(s).”
The AAP insisted that its position tracks with its history of advocacy for the “optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.”
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