Tony Perkins' fearmongering about same-sex parenting is refuted by medical consensus

››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins dubiously claimed that "there is not conclusive evidence" that the children of same-sex couples "fare as well as children who grow up with a mom and a dad." In fact, the consensus among medical, and child-welfare groups is that children of same-sex couples do fare as well as children of heterosexual parents.

Perkins ignores medical consensus to claim no "conclusive evidence" that children of same-sex couples "fare as well"

Perkins claims no "conclusive evidence" same-sex couple children "fare as well." On the August 8 broadcast of CBS' Face the Nation, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins dubiously claimed that "there is not conclusive evidence to suggest that children who grow up with two moms or two dads fare as well as children who grow up with a mom and a dad."

In fact, medical and child-welfare groups agree that children of same-sex couples "fare as well...as do children whose parents are heterosexual"

American Academy of Pediatrics: "[S]cientific literature demonstrates" that same-sex couple children "fare as well." In a February, 2002 Technical Report, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated:

A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that childrenwho grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as wellin emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as dochildren whose parents are heterosexual. Children's optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of therelationships and interactions within the family unit than bythe particular structural form it takes.

The report was reaffirmed on February 1, 2010.

American Psychiatric Association: "Research indicates that optimal development for children is based not on the sexual orientation of the parents." In a November 2002 statement, the American Psychiatric Association Assembly and Board of Trustees wrote (emphasis in original):

Numerous studies over the last three decades consistently demonstrate that children raised by gay or lesbian parents exhibit the same level of emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as children raised by heterosexual parents. This research indicates that optimal development for children is based not on the sexual orientation of the parents, but on stable attachments to committed and nurturing adults. The research also shows that children who have two parents, regardless of the parents' sexual orientations, do better than children with only one parent.

[...]

The American Psychiatric Association supports initiatives which 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.

American Psychological Association: "There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation." In a July 2004 research summary and resolution, the American Psychological Association Council stated: "There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation," adding, "On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children." From the American Psychological Association:

The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers' and gay fathers' parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation (Armesto, 2002; Patterson, 2000; Tasker & Golombok, 1997). On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.

[...]

WHEREAS there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children (Patterson, 2000, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Tasker, 1999);

WHEREAS research has shown that the adjustment, development, and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish (Patterson, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the APA opposes any discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care, and reproductive health services.

American Psychoanalytic Association: "Gay and lesbian individuals and couples are capable of meeting the best interest of the child." In a May 2002 "Position Statement on Gay and Lesbian Parenting," the American Psychoanalytic Association wrote:

The American Psychoanalytic Association supports the position that the salient consideration in decisions about parenting, including conception, child rearing, adoption, visitation and custody is the best interest of the child.

Accumulated evidence suggests the best interest of the child requires attachment to committed, nurturing and competent parents. Evaluation of an individual or couple for these parental qualities should be determined without prejudice regarding sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian individuals and couples are capable of meeting the best interest of the child and should be afforded the same rights and should accept the same responsibilities as heterosexual parents.

With the adoption of this position statement, APsaA supports research studies that further our understanding of the impact of both traditional and gay/lesbian parenting on a child's development.

Child Welfare League of America: "Any attempt to preclude or prevent gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals or couples from parenting, based solely on their sexual orientation, is not in the best interest of children." The Child Welfare League of America's Position on Same-Sex Parenting states:

Based on more than three decades of social science research and our 85 years of service to millions of families, CWLA believes that families with LGBTQ members deserve the same levels of support afforded other families. Any attempt to preclude or prevent gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals or couples from parenting, based solely on their sexual orientation, is not in the best interest of children.

[...]

Thus, based on a preponderance of existing research substantiating the ability of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults to serve as competent, caring, supportive and loving parents, and consistent with the Standards of Excellence for Child Welfare Services, CWLA commits its experience, its resources, and its influence to supporting LGBTQ children, youth, adults, and families involved in America's child welfare system.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
Person
Tony Perkins
Show/Publication
Face the Nation
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