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Professional News
Psychoanalysts Back Option Of Same-Sex Adoption
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 14 page 12-12

Last February, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out in favor of allowing gay men and women to adopt their partner’s children.

"In light of data showing that children of gay and lesbian parents function just as well emotionally, cognitively, and socially as children of heterosexual parents," the academy declared, "courts should stop using sexual orientation as grounds to deny members of same-sex couples the right to adopt their partner’s children" (Psychiatric News, March 15).

Now more support for gay parenting comes from the American Psychoanalytic Association. It announced its position at its annual meeting in Philadelphia in May.

Decisions not only about adoption, but also about conception, child rearing, visitation, and custody should be made in the best interest of the child, the American Psychoanalytic Association stated. What a child needs most of all are committed, nurturing, and competent parents, and gay parents are as capable of being as committed, nurturing, and competent as are heterosexual parents.

"It is disturbing to hear about cases in which gay or lesbian parents are being denied custody or the right to adopt solely on the basis of their sexual orientation," the association’s president, Newell Fisher, M.D., remarked in a press release. "That’s discrimination. The American Psychoanalytic Association deplores such discrimination and is especially troubled when psychological findings [about gay parenting] are distorted, misrepresented, or blatantly ignored, as is so often the case in these legal decisions."

The association’s endorsement of gay parenting should benefit gay parents and prospective gay parents in a very practical way, Gary Grossman, Ph.D., chair of the association’s Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues, pointed out in the same press release. They should "now be able to include the position of the American Psychoanalytic Association as part of their supporting documents in their legal proceedings," he said.

"I think the American Psychoanalytic Association’s position on gay and lesbian parenting, coming on the heels of a similar statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is both timely and welcome," Jack Drescher, M.D., chair of APA’s Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues, told Psychiatric News. "Same-sex parent adoptions are good for families as they increase resources made available for children, including health care coverage of both partners, child support, and inheritance rights. I have every confidence that the APA Assembly and Board of Trustees will endorse our taking a similar position in the near future." ▪

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