As the US Supreme Court prepares to consider the legality of gay marriage next week, the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents thousands of pediatricians, took a firm position Thursday in support of gay civil marriages in a policy statement drafted by two Boston doctors.
The group also came out in support of full adoption and foster care rights for all parents, regardless of sexual orientation; the pediatricians said states should not limit adoptions nor foster care placement by single parents to those who are heterosexuals.
“This has been in the process for four to five years,” said Dr. Ellen Perrin, co-author of the policy statement and director of research at the Center for Children with Special Needs, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. But the release was timed to draw the attention of the Supreme Court justices, she added, and hopefully sway them to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman.
For the past decade, the pediatricians’ group has supported adoptions by second parents of children born to one gay parent as a way to ensure health benefits, financial security, and strong parental relationships in the event of a divorce. The new policy supporting civil marriages for couples of the same gender is based on research showing health and economic disparities in children being raised by parents who aren’t married.