Families Of Trans Kids Sue Texas In Effort To End Child Abuse Investigations

Three Texas families sued the state on Wednesday, requesting that investigations into their transgender children’s gender-confirming medical treatments be halted, renewing a challenge to the state’s examination of such therapies as child abuse.

The complaint also asks a Texas judge to stop the state from conducting any further investigations of members of the LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG Inc. who live in Texas.

The lawsuit comes less than a month after the Texas Supreme Court allowed the state to investigate transgender youth’s parents for child abuse while also ruling in favor of one family who was one of the first to be contacted by child welfare officials after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order.

The most recent lawsuit, filed by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, seeks a new wide injunction against the probes. “Let the law protect families who lead with compassion in favor of transgender Texans, even if it requires a judicial judgment.” In a statement, PFLAG National’s executive director, Brian K. Bond, said.

Abbott’s and Attorney General Ken Paxton’s spokespersons did not respond to messages left late Wednesday afternoon.

When Abbott issued an order requiring child welfare officials to examine claims of gender-confirming care for children as abuse in February, Texas went further than any other state.

After a lawsuit on behalf of a 16-year-old girl whose family said they were under investigation, a court placed the order on hold in March. In May, the Texas Supreme Court determined that the lower court had overstepped its bounds by halting all further inquiries.

Following Abbott’s direction and an earlier nonbinding legal opinion classifying certain gender-confirming therapies as “child abuse,” the lawsuit represented the first report of parents being probed. As a result of the direction and opinion, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has started nine investigations.

The American Medical Association, for example, has opposed Republican-backed limits filed in statehouses around the country. Abbott’s mandate and the attorney general’s ruling go against the wishes of the nation’s largest medical groups.

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The case was filed in Texas on behalf of the families of three boys who have been getting hormone therapy – two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old. The families described their fear in court files as a result of the investigations in Texas.

One of the adolescents’ mothers stated her son attempted suicide and was admitted to the hospital the day Abbott issued his order. According to her, after learning that the youngster had been administered hormone therapy, the outpatient mental hospital where he was referred reported him to the family for child abuse.

“I am angered and upset that my state government wants to make it illegal for trans adolescents like me to be ourselves, and that DFPS, the governor, and the attorney general are willing to prosecute families like mine for loving and supporting their trans children,” other teens wrote in the court filing.

Last year, Arkansas became the first state to enact legislation preventing children from receiving gender-confirming therapies, and Tennessee recently passed a similar bill. Arkansas’ statute was struck down by a judge, and the state has filed an appeal.

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