-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Marriage for same-sex
couples -- and the right for all parents, regardless of their
sexual orientation, to adopt or provide foster care -- is the best
way to guarantee benefits and security for their children,
according to child health experts.
The stance is outlined in a new policy statement from the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), published online March 21 and
in the April print issue of the journal
"Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage," policy statement co-author Dr. Benjamin Siegel said in an AAP news release.
"The AAP believes there should be equal opportunity for every couple to access the economic stability and federal supports provided to married couples to raise children," added Siegel, who is chair of the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.
Another policy statement co-author, Dr. Ellen Perrin, pointed
out that the "AAP has long been an advocate for all children, and
this updated policy reflects a natural progression in the academy's
support for families."
Therefore, Perrin said in the news release, "If a child has two
loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond,
it's in the best interest of their children that legal institutions
allow them to do so."
Studies have found that important factors that can affect
children's development and mental health include parental stress,
economic and social stability, community resources, discrimination,
and exposure to "toxic stressors" at home or in the community.
However, there is no evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship
between a child's well-being and the sexual orientation of their
parents, the authors noted in the news release.
The AAP "supports pediatricians advocating for public policies
that help all children and their parents, regardless of sexual
orientation, build and maintain strong, stable and healthy families
that are able to meet the needs of their children," according to
the policy statement.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has
same-sex parents and their children.
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