Adoption by lesbian couples

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7351.1407 (Published 15 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1407
  1. Susan Golombok (S.E.Golombok@city.ac.uk), professor
  1. Family and Child Psychology Research Centre, City University, London EC1V 0HB

    Is it in the best interests of the child?

    The report of the American Academy of Pediatrics in February1 supporting the introduction of legislation to allow the adoption by co-parents of children born to lesbian couples sparked enormous controversy not only within the medical profession but among the public as well. Almost without exception, only the mother who gives birth to or adopts the child may currently be the legal parent, even in cases where a couple plan a family together and raise their child in a stable family unit. The academy has taken the view that children in this situation deserve the security of two legally recognised parents in order to promote psychological wellbeing and to enable the child's relationship with the co-mother to continue should the other mother die, become incapacitated, or the couple separate. This position is based on evidence derived from the research literature on this issue.2 The Washington Times described the stance of the academy as “an unfortunate surrender to political …

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