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BREAKING NEWS: American Academy of Pediatrics supports marriage equality, adoption rights

WASHINGTON – The highly respected American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) declared today that it supported same-sex marriage because it was in the best interest of gays and lesbians who want to marry as well as their families.

AAP issued a policy statement and technical report that also endorsed adoption and foster-care rights for gay and lesbian Americans.

The Human Rights Campaign praised the move by AAP in a policy statement titled “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian.”

According to the AAP, the report builds on a policy statement published in 2002 and reaffirmed in 2010, supporting second-parent adoption by partners of the same sex as a way to protect children’s right to maintain relationships with both parents, eligibility for health benefits and financial security.

“This new policy statement and report supporting marriage equality and adoption rights for LGBT prospective parents shows that discrimination harms children and families,” said Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Family Project and a professional social worker.

“Child welfare experts agree that adoptive parents should be judged by their character and their ability to raise a child, not on their sexual orientation or gender identity and that marriage equality strengthens families.”

Chad Griffin, HRC president, also hailed the news.

“This announcement is the latest in a chain of evidence stretching back years that clearly states marriage equality is good for children,” Griffin said. “As today’s announcement by the AAP underscores, marriage equality’s adversaries simply have no evidence to back up their absurd claims to the contrary.”

Even the star expert witness opposed to marriage equality in the Proposition 8 trial, David Blankenhorn, admitted that equal marriage is undeniably good for the children of gay and lesbian couples. In 2010, he testified under oath that, “adopting same-sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children.” He has since fully embraced marriage equality.

The nation’s leading child welfare organizations support adoption by gay and lesbian parents. In addition to the AAPs’ support of legislation that allows both partners in a same-sex couple to jointly adopt children, the American Psychological Association supports initiatives that allow same-sex couples to adopt and co-parent children and supports all the associated legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities which arise from such initiatives.

The HRC Foundation has been working to widen the pool of loving forever families for children. The “All Children — All Families” (ACAF) initiative, launched in 2007, promotes policies and practices that welcome LGBT foster and adoptive parents. With the goal of increasing the pool of loving forever families for children, the program seeks to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals and educate LGBT people about opportunities to become foster or adoptive parents to waiting children.

To date, ACAF has over 60 participating agencies across the country, and has awarded 33 seals of recognition.