Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently issued an opinion classifying medically necessary gender-affirming care to youth as child abuse. AG Paxton’s statement stands in direct opposition to extensive scientific knowledge and the evidence-based care recognized by numerous professional societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Endocrine Society, and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Adoptions Together holds the foundational principle that every child has the human right to healthcare responsive to their whole person, including their identity and their experiences. Age-appropriate medical care based on clear evidence that results in undeniably positive outcomes is not child abuse. We adamantly oppose and renounce any legal or legislative activity that would seek to deny a child’s access to necessary healthcare. Governor Abbot and AG Paxton’s directive has dire consequences for the children and youth it impacts and is an indefensible motion that goes beyond political discussion.
Transgender and nonbinary youth face an incredible amount of disproportionate discrimination, abuse, and violence leaving them in a vulnerable position to suffer higher rates of homelessness, suicide, child welfare involvement, and other negative outcomes with lifelong effects. Healthcare that intentionally meets their needs profoundly reduces these risks to their mental and physical health and social well-being. The AG’s statement effectively supports the invalidation and dehumanization of transgender and nonbinary youth in society that is at the root of these immense challenges, creating an environment even more difficult to grow up within.
As experts in trauma, relational psychology, and applied neuroscience, Adoptions Together recognizes that the best way to prevent negative outcomes is to treat the entire individual with care responsive to their specific needs. Healthcare systems should create spaces of healing and should be accessible to all. Children are the future of society and making life-saving healthcare inaccessible to children who are already vulnerable to disproportionate suffering due to their identity is a rejection of all that we stand for. Adoptions Together stands for legal and legislative actions that affirm our youth, prevent suffering, and support our most vulnerable populations at every stage of their life.
Click on the following for helpful resources:
- Click here to learn more about gender-affirming healthcare.
- Click here to learn more about gender inclusive & responsive healthcare systems.
- Click here to learn more about what it means to be transgender or nonbinary.
- Click here to learn how you can be an ally for transgender and nonbinary youth.