Frequently Asked Questions
What is the composition of your membership?
Founded in 2002, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a growing medical association of more than 600 physicians and other healthcare professionals from across the nation (47 states) who are dedicated to the well-being of children. The vast majority of the ACPeds members are board-certified pediatricians in active practice.
Is the ACPeds a religious or political organization?
The ACPeds is a scientific medical association of healthcare professionals that advocates for policies that promote the optimal health and well-being of children. Although our members are often cited and interviewed by conservative publications, the ACPeds is not a religious or political organization; it does not inquire about or use an individual’s religious or political identification as criteria for membership.
How does the ACPeds create policy statements and does this process differ from other medical associations?
ACPeds releases policy statements intermittently to provide scientific evidence and comment on the most pressing issues concerning the health and well-being of children from conception through young adulthood. ACPeds members have the opportunity to be actively involved in the editing process of statements, ensuring the inclusion of input, experience and diverse backgrounds of members with different focus areas as described below.
Both the ACPeds and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) employ similar first steps in producing a policy where a lead author produces a draft which is then evaluated by a small committee followed by a review of the Executive Committee. Only policies supported by a large super-majority (75%) are passed and published.
However, with the AAP, the process ends at the small committee review, with at most 30-35 pediatricians producing a policy that supposedly speaks for its 60,000 members. Yet, none of the other thousands of members have any input and may or may not support the policy. ACPeds sends its draft policies to every Fellow member of the organization first for suggested edits and then for a vote. Thus, even though the ACPeds has a smaller membership, far more pediatricians have input into the ACPeds policy/position statements as compared with the AAP.
What is your response to false and malicious claims leveraged by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)?
The scientific positions of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) have enraged the SPLC because it publishes science that dispels their ideology and agenda. The SPLC defines “hate groups” as all groups that “have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” The ACPeds has never maligned anyone, nor has it ever engaged in attacks against a group of people. The mission of ACPeds is simply to seek the “best for children” by staying true to scientific positions. Read more about the ACPeds Response to SPLC Criticisms and The Truth About SPLC.
Is ACPeds anti-LGBTQ+?
ACPeds and its physician members are committed to compassionately caring for all children regardless of their family structure, race, ethnicity, religion, ideology, sexual attractions and gender identity. Our physicians extend unconditional respect to their patients and parents who may hold different views.
ACPeds is pro-child, pro-health and pro-science. LGBTQ+ activists have attacked ACPeds for presenting positions that are supported by science:
Same-sex attraction and gender discordance in youth will often resolve by late adolescence or young adulthood.
Affirming same-sex attraction, same-sex sexual behavior, and gender discordance may lead to persistence.
Same-sex sexual behavior is associated with serious physical and psychological health risks at significantly high rates.
Children do not fare equally well when reared by same-sex couples in comparison to married mother-father families. Advocacy of same-sex unions or parenting as equivalent to opposite sex marriage and parenting is not evidence based, and places the wants of adults above the needs of children.
The ACPeds calls attention to the science demonstrating that optimal developmental outcomes for children occur when they are reared in a home by their biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. With the rise of divorce, decline of traditional marriage, and re-definition of marriage to include any desired configuration, the well-being of children within these homes has been ignored and even misrepresented.
The ACPeds recognizes that many children are not reared in a traditional nuclear family structure. Our members support and give care to children from all backgrounds, including single-parent, blended, and other non-traditional families while working to encourage the married mother-father family unit. While there will be exceptions, particularly in families marred by the presence of abuse, the fact remains that the family structure consisting of a married mother and father is usually in the child’s best interest, and should therefore, be favored by policymakers interested in promoting the well-being of children.
Is ACPeds is an anti-transgender organization?
The ACPeds is a pro-child, pro-science and pro-health organization. The ACPeds believes all people - especially those who are gender incongruent - have the right to know the following facts:
Science documents significant physical and psychological harm among youth and adults with gender incongruence even within the most LGBT-affirming societies
A majority of gender incongruent youth have a history of significant and untreated mental illness that pre-dated their symptoms of gender incongruence.
Science demonstrates that gender incongruence is neither innate nor immutable.
In fact, incongruent gender identities have been documented to align with an individual’s biological sex across their lifespan -- both with and without counseling.
ACPeds is deeply concerned with the alleged safety of transgender interventions, as there is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for transgender-believing youth. This means that youth transition is experimental, and therefore, parents cannot provide informed consent, nor can minors provide assent for these interventions.
The misuse of puberty blockers to suppress normally timed puberty is dangerous to youth. Evidence points to the use of such interventions being associated with mental illness and other severe and life-threatening health consequences.
In fact, the package insert for Lupron, the number one prescribed puberty blocker in America, lists “emotional instability” as a side effect and warns prescribers to “monitor for development or worsening of psychiatric symptoms during treatment.”
Temporary use of Lupron has also been associated with and may be the cause of many serious permanent side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility. In addition to the harm from Lupron, cross-sex hormones put youth at an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan.
Currently, girls as young as age 13 years are receiving double mastectomies, and boys as young as 16 and 17 years of age are being surgically castrated, undergoing penectomies and/or having pelvic wounds created to simulate female vaginas. These life-altering and functionality-destroying surgeries are irreversible. No child has the cognitive capacity to consent to such procedures, and no parent has the right to consent to such mutilation.
Does the ACPeds advise its members to refuse care to LGBTQ-identified children and families?
Of course not. As expressed in our mission, vision and values statement, the ACPeds and its members are committed to compassionately caring for all children regardless of their family structure, race, ethnicity, ideology or sexual preference.
We physicians extend unconditional respect to our patients who may hold different views, and we ask that our own convictions and professional judgment be likewise respected.
Why does the ACPeds emphasize the “married, father-mother, family unit” as being important to child development? Is the ACPeds opposed to families with single parents or blended families?
With the rise of divorce, the decline of traditional marriage, and re-defining of marriage to include any desired configuration, the well-being of children within these homes has been ignored and even misrepresented. The ACPeds is simply asserting that the optimal outcome for children occurs when they are reared in a home by their biological parents in a low conflict marriage.
Recognizing that not all children are being raised in this optimal environment, the ACPeds and its members support and give care to children from all backgrounds, including single-parent, blended, and other kinds of families, while working to encourage the mother-father married family unit. While there will be exceptions, particularly in families marred by the presence of abuse, the fact remains that the mother-father unit is usually in the child’s best interest and should be favored by policymakers interested in the well-being of children.
Does the ACPeds support “conversion therapy?”
ACPeds by no means supports and is opposed to any coercive, shaming, and physically harmful practices such as electroshock therapy. These are not forms of ethical psychotherapy.
ACPeds endorses ethical talk therapy and counseling techniques in order to identify and address issues that may underlie the undesired attractions and behaviors.
We support therapy for children and adolescents with unwanted non-heterosexual attractions given the fluctuation of change in these attractions during adolescence and given the positive outcomes of therapy reported by adults in scientific literature. LGBTQ+ activists are committed to the belief that homosexual attractions are normal and immutable. This worldview threatens scientific evidence that change toward heterosexual attraction is possible for some people.
Under therapy bans, therapists are required to engage solely in speech that affirms the child as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Therapists are barred from providing heterosexual-affirming psychotherapy even when the child him or herself asks for help to identify as heterosexual. As a result, a number of youth will be legislated into a false sexual identity, and many others will unnecessarily begin the high risk sex change process as young as age 11 that renders them permanently sterile. This fact alone makes it highly unethical, if not criminal, for the law to require therapists to affirm every child with gender dysphoria as transgender.
[i] SPLC website accessed at: https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map