Legal

Texas investigating transgender teen’s parents for possible child abuse: lawsuit

A lawsuit filed to state court in Austin on Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas and Lambda Legal alleges that Texas’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) began investigating parents of transgender youth who help their children get gender-affirming care. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) previously issued an opinion stating that he believed gender-affirming surgeries and the administering of puberty blockers for transgender youth amounted to “child abuse.” 

“There is no doubt that these procedures are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted,” Paxton said at the time. 

Shortly afterward, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) directed DFPS to investigate “any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.”

“Texas law also imposes a duty on DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender-transitioning procedures, and on other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may occur,” Abbott continued. 

The lawsuit from the organizations was filed on behalf of a member of the DFPS and their 16-year-old child who is transgender, according to a statement from Lambda Legal. 

The complaint alleges that the DFPS employee has already had a member of the agency visit her home. 

The employee, who works on cases of child abuse and neglect, was placed on administrative leave last week, according to a report from The New York Times.

The family of the child, who is identified legally as Mary Doe, refuses to voluntarily hand the DFPS medical documents and records.

“We are terrified for Mary’s health and well-being, and for our family. I feel betrayed by my state and the agency for whom I work,” wrote the parents of Mary Doe, who are identified as Jane and John Doe, according to the court filing.

The court filing states that Mary was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and that her doctors placed her under medical treatment to alleviate it, including puberty-delaying medications and hormone therapy.

Medical professionals, the LGBT community and transgender advocates have stated repeatedly that transgender children are at higher risk of negative mental health consequences, including suicide, if they do not receive gender-affirming health care. 

Tags ACLU ACLU of Texas Austin gender dysphoria Gender identity Greg Abbott Ken Paxton LGBT Puberty blocker Sex reassignment surgery Texas Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Transgender Transgender rights in the United States Transgender youth

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