By David Campbell D. SC. and Kevin Rutherford
The American Psychological Association
In 2004, the American Psychological Association published a statement in support of homosexual adoption. The APA said, “There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respects to adoption.”1 In their 2004 brief on “Lesbian and Gay Parenting,” the APA wrote, “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any single significant respect relative to children of heterosexual partners.”2 In 2010 the APA filed an amicus in support of a same-sex couple in Florida who went to court in order to adopt two children. The Federal Appeals Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in favor of the couple, citing statements from the American Psychological Association in support of his decision.3
The APA used data from 59 published studies in order to come to its conclusions concerning homosexuals adopting children.4 Unfortunately the APA never reviewed methods used by the researchers in these studies. In fact those studies have not been properly reviewed until recently.
Social Science Research
The July issue of Social Science Research contains two separate articles that review the methods of the 59 published studies. One of the articles was written by Mark Regnerus, who works in the Department of Sociology and Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Loren Marks, who is with Louisiana State Universities School of Human Ecology, wrote the other article.
Loren Marks concluded the 59 studies named in support of the APA’s position on same-sex adoption were statistically weak. Marks points out the small size of each study, the failure to actually look at the condition of those who had been adopted by gay couples, and the fact that none of these same-sex families had been compared to intact heterosexual families made these studies weak. After reviewing the 59 studies to which the APA referred, Lauren Marks concluded, “The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way. Such a statement would not be grounded in science.”5 Specifically, “…a close examination leads to the conclusion that strong, generalized assertions, including those made by the APA brief, were not empirically warranted.”6
Mark Regnerus points out similar faults with the studies used by the APA in their research. Regnerus writes, “Concern has arisen, however, about the methodological quality of many studies focusing on same-sex parents. In particular, most are based on non-random, non-representative data often employing small samples that do not allow for generalization to the large population of gay and lesbian families.”7
The bulk of Regnerus’ article deals with the findings of a new and more comprehensive study entitled The New Family Structures Study. A team of several leading family researchers who are from five different universities put this data collection project together.8 The study compared intact biological families to seven other types of family structure including homosexual and lesbian families. The results of the study show that “in the vast majority of cases the optimal outcome––where one can readily be discerned––favors IBFs [Intact Biological Families].”9 Mark Regnerus concludes his article by pointing out the fact that as the number of intact biological families decreases in the United States, we see “heightened dependence on public health organizations, federal and state public assistance, psychotherapeutic resources, substance use programs, and the criminal justice system.”10
Back to the Courts
What if Judge Walker had known of the problems with the research upon which the APA had based its recommendation? Would his ruling have been different? What if he had seen the results of The New Family Structures Study? Would he have had second thoughts about the APA amicus in support of the homosexual couple adopting the two children? We don’t really know the answers to those questions, but what we do know is that his decision was based upon false data.
God intends for marriage to be between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6). This is His design from the beginning (Genesis 2:18-25). The results of The New Family Structures Study show us that God’s way is the best way. God’s plan is the one that works best for children and for society as a whole. Same-sex homes are not good for children despite what the American Psychological Association has said.
Dr. Brad Harrub is the director and co-founder of Focus Press. He has authored and co-authored numerous books, including “Convicted,” “Engage,” and “Heart of the Matter.” Brad and his wife, Melinda, and their children Will, Reese, Claire, and Luke reside in Franklin, TN. You can find his full bio here.