- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2002

CHICAGO (AP) The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed homosexual adoption, saying such couples can provide the loving, stable and emotionally healthy family life that children need.
The new policy focuses specifically on gaining legally protected parental rights for homosexual "co-parents" whose partners have children, but it also could apply to homosexual couples who want to adopt a child together, said Dr. Joseph Hagan Jr., chairman of the committee that wrote the policy.
Citing estimates suggesting that as many as 9 million U.S. children have at least one homosexual parent, the academy urged its 55,000 members to take an active role in supporting measures that allow homosexual adoption.
An academy report, based on related research, says there is "no existing data to support the widely held belief that there are negative outcomes" for children raised by homosexual parents, Dr. Hagan said.
"Denying legal parent status through adoption … prevents these children from enjoying the psychologic and legal security that comes from having two willing, capable and loving parents," the policy says.
Critics say the nation's largest pediatricians' group relied on flawed data and is meddling in a political issue.
"It's a group of pro-homosexual people … who want to further tear down the one-man, one-woman relationship in America," said the Rev. Louis Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, a Christian lobbying group. He called the policy irresponsible and "a disservice to medicine."
The policy is published in the February issue of the academy's medical journal, Pediatrics.
The academy says it is crucial for pediatricians to get involved because homosexual households are becoming more prevalent and doctors are increasingly confronted with related issues.
Nationwide, about half the states have allowed second-parent homosexual adoptions, where one partner already is a legal parent, said Patricia Logue, an attorney with the homosexual rights advocacy group Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.
A few states have prohibitive statutes. Florida bans any homosexual from adopting, while bans in Utah and Mississippi affect homosexual couples but not such individuals, said Lisa Bennett of the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual rights group.
Hot-button issues aren't new for the academy, which also has supported gun control and banning television for children under 2, and opposed mandatory disclosure to parents when patients are considering abortion.

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