Commentary on social and moral issues of the day

Pediatrics Group Endorses Homosexual Adoption: New Policy Places Children at Risk

A. Dean Byrd Ph.D.

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A. Dean Byrd argues that the new policy of the Academy of Pediatrics endorsing homosexual adoption is based on politics, not science.

On February 3rd, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement endorsing adoption by same-sex couples, saying they can provide the same emotionally healthy family life as heterosexual parents. The academy is urging its 55,000 members to take an active role in supporting laws that allow gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals to adopt the children of the individuals with whom they cohabit.

But this new policy is based on politics, not science. Sadly, although AAP policy carries significant weight in our nation's courts, it is not in the best interests of children, whose interests the AAP claims to represent.

Studies demonstrate that there is, in fact, a difference between non-heterosexual and heterosexual parenting. Children raised by non-heterosexual parents are placed at risk. They are more apt to experience gender and sexual confusion; they are more apt to become promiscuous; they are at greater risk of losing a parent to AIDS, substance abuse or suicide. They suffer more depression and other emotional difficulties. They are also more likely to engage in same-sex behavior.

Furthermore, non-heterosexual couples are less stable than heterosexual couples in their relationships and they are more likely to separate. Research reveals that promiscuity is virtually the norm among male non-heterosexuals. Violence is substantially higher in non-heterosexual relationships. The list of risk factors continues.

Nature created male and female to be complementary to each other in myriad ways that enhance not only the couple's relationship, but the healthy and stable development of the children they produce. It is well known that fatherlessness is responsible for many of the ills of children in our society. There are few bodies of research where the evidence is so clear: children need both a mother and a father. Homes with a married mother and father are, all things considered, far better for raising emotionally stable children.

Perhaps the time has come for rational, reasonable people to insist that organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics either base their policies on science, or else label themselves as political organizations and relinquish their tax-exempt statuses.

And maybe it's also time that federal, state and local governments discontinue reliance on professional organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics when they need accurate, dispassionate, scientific information.

It's also time that the American people insist on truth, not politics, from all of our professional organizations.

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