HRC Praises Policy Statement By Psychoanalytic Group That Says Parenting Decisions Should Be Made Based On A Child's Best Interest

On May 28th, The Human Rights Campaign praised the nation's leading group of
psychoanalysts for announcing its policy that the best interest of the
child – not sexual orientation – should be the determining factor in
parenting decisions regarding conception, child rearing, adoption,
visitation and custody disputes. The group also gave a strong endorsement of
same-sex parenting, saying that the evidence suggests gay people can be just
as capable parents as any other parent, says HRC.

"Accumulated evidence suggests the best interest of the child
requires attachment to committed, nurturing and competent parents," said the
American Psychoanalytic Association in a statement. "Evaluation of an
individual or couple for these parental qualities should be determined
without prejudice regarding sexual orientation. APsaA believes that 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."

"We applaud the American Psychoanalytic Association for their strong
statement of support for equal rights and responsibilities for gay and
lesbian parents," said Lisa Bennett, who runs HRC FamilyNet, the family
project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. "The children of many
same-sex couples live in great risk because some courts and state
governments have prevented both parents from having a legal relationship to
their own sons and daughters.

"Children in many of these families can be denied insurance coverage or
medical care in an emergency," Bennett continued. "If the non-adoptive
parent dies before such children turn 18, they can be removed from the only
home they know. We hope this policy statement leads to greater protection
for these vulnerable children and families."

The APsaA's President, Newell Fisher, M.D., took a firm stand
against discrimination in adoptions. He said in his statement that opponents
of same-sex adoption often distort the truth.

"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 – that's discrimination," said Fisher. "The
American Psychoanalytic Association deplores such discrimination and is
especially troubled when psychological findings are distorted,
misrepresented or blatantly ignored, as is so often the case in these legal
decisions."

The APSAA also called for more research studies that "further the
understanding of the impact of both traditional and gay and lesbian
parenting on a child's development."

More information on same-sex families, including adoption laws is
available at www.hrc.org/familynet.

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