A leading pediatrician's group published new policy guidelines regarding children raised by homosexual parents Thursday. Their statement supporting same-sex couples sparked controversy among marriage advocates, who believe in the traditional structure of the family.
The American Academy of Pediatrics published their new policy on their website, which revolved around research. Their study supported the idea that children raised by homosexual couples showed no ill effects when raised in a family structure that is loving as well as financially and emotionally secure.
The change in policy came after a review of 2010 census figures, which estimated homosexual couples are currently raising roughly 115,000 children in the U.S. out of about 60 million total.
The National Organization for Marriage, an organization in support of traditional marriage, expressed concern over how parental roles within the context affects the development of a child.
"Two men might each be a good father, but neither can be a mom. The ideal for children is the love of their own mom and dad. No same-sex couple can provide that," read a statement on the organizations website.
The news of the policy change comes just over a week before the Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act as well as the legality over keeping marriage traditional. The AAP also stated that it released the policy change ahead of the highly anticipated court case in order to provide the justices with additional research over homosexual couples raising children.
"Many studies have demonstrated that children's well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents' sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents," Dr. Ellen Perrin, a Tufts Medical Center pediatrician and co-author of the policy statement and technical report, told AP.
"If a child has two loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond, it's in the best interest of their children that legal institutions allow them to do so," Perrin added.
However, those who continue to support the traditional family structure maintain that the data used to support the AAP's policy change is not extensive enough, nor does the data provide for the broad generalization put forth by the AAP's new policy guidelines.
"National policy should be informed by nationally representative data," Loren Marks, professor at Louisiana State University's School of Human Ecology , told The New York Times. "We are moving in the direction of higher-quality national data, but it's slow."