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Texas Attorney General Announces Gender-Affirming Health Care For Trans Kids Is Child Abuse

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced last month in a  “formal attorney general opinion” that gender-affirming health care for trans kids is “child abuse”.  Greg Abbott then directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to open investigations into parents that may have provided such care to their children.

Some of you may be struggling with the decision by Ken Paxton and the Governor’s direction.  His decision is basically paramount to allowing your trans child to be taken away from you by the Texas Government.  For a state that lives and dies on the premise that “government intrusion” is evil, here is yet another example of their collective cognitive dissonance.

The right to raise your child as you see fit is paramount to the tenants of both the United States Constitution and the rights afforded to parents in the Texas Family Code.  This has been affirmed by every court at every level. From the U.S. Supreme Court to the local district and county courts in this nation.  In Texas, as long as a parent is able to act in the best interests of their child then they are deemed free to do so. 

Now, Texas is saying that they know a child better and that the government, who does not know the child at all, has not birthed, loved, attended a doctor visit, raised or ever even acted as a caretaker for the child is a better decision-maker about a trans child than the parents who have loved the child from the day they were born.  Every tear, every hurt feeling, every sniffle, every homework assignment, every struggle, every desire, and every moment of their decision-making for their child can now be reversed by a governmental agency, CPS.  

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If the government decides that a child needs to be taken away from the parents, where do they go? Who gets them? Foster parents who want to raise the “transgender” out of them? Religious zealots, who want to reform them? Is the state going to interfere with the medical decisions of parents and their doctors and make it illegal for them to receive transgender affirming care? We are talking mostly about teenagers here.  Where will these kids go? 

While this ruling is an “opinion” it is not law handed down by the legislature, it is administrative in nature and CPS is complying.  This week the ruling was blocked by an Austin judge to prevent CPS from investigating a family for this type of gender-affirming treatment.  Ken Paxton has appealed her decision.  We can be sure this will go through the appellate process, this is an evolving issue. Follow this developing story, we certainly will be!

[Update March 11, 2022]

A Texas judge last Friday blocked the state from investigating child abuse in gender-confirming care for transgender youth. Ken Paxton has promised to appeal her decision.

Read the latest here

[Update April 14, 2022]

Repercussions from this directive continue to be seen. The Texas Tribune has reported that half a dozen child abuse investigators have resigned or are actively looking for a job as a result of this directive. We already don’t have enough caseworkers to handle the serious allegations of abuse and neglect, now we have even less because of the governors’ ill-informed and unconstitutional overreach.

Read about this developing story here

We will continue to keep you up to date on this evolving issue.

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced Texas family law attorneys takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. Click the following link to learn more about our compassionate approach to Texas family law. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life.

By Marie McGrath, Esq.

Posted March 08, 2022

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