American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Protections for Lesbian and Gay Families
(NEW YORK, Wednesday January 30, 2002) —Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said a new policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics supporting legal protections for lesbian and gay families is an important landmark.
"Pediatricians are the doctors parents turn to for advice and help for their children,” said Patricia M. Logue senior counsel for Lambda, and an expert in family law. “Now these physicians have come forward with an important statement supporting adoption by lesbian and gay parents that should help many children. We hope this will influence not just policymakers but average Americans who may simply be unfamiliar with our families.”
In a statement, issued along with a report published in the February issue of Pediatrics, the AAP says children deserve the security of two legally recognized parents. The organization stated its support for second-parent adoption, which allows both members of a same-sex couple to become legal parents of their children. In their report, AAP provides details about the growing body of scientific literature that suggests children who grow up with lesbian or gay parents fare as well as children whose parents are heterosexual.
“These medical doctors based their opinion that adoption by lesbian and gay couples is good for children on a large, consistent body of research,” said Logue. “The truth is that lesbian and gay parents are as good at raising children as anyone else. And their children have the same need for security that all children have."
Second-parent adoption provides many important protections for children including: rights to child support, health benefits, social security benefits and consent for medical care from both parents. Also, it guarantees the second parent’s custody rights should the first parent die.
The Academy recommends that pediatricians not only educate themselves about lesbian and gay families, but also advocate for initiatives that support the right of every child and family to have legal recognition.
AAP adds its voice to the many leading mental health organizations, including the American Psychological Association and National Association of Social Workers, that also support second-parent adoption as good for children.
Lambda has participated in second-parent adoption appeals in many states. Courts in more than 20 states have recognized the validity and importance of these adoptions.
Lambda is the oldest and largest legal organization dedicated to the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV and AIDS. Lambda’s headquarters are in New York with regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. Lambda will open an office in Dallas in 2002.
Contact: Patricia Logue 312-663-4413 x 30
Amanda Scioscia 212-809-8585 x 230, 888-987-1971