Texas Appeals Court Blocks Probing Of Transgender Kids’ Parents

Texas Appeals Court Transgender Kids' Parents

On Friday, a Texas appeals court upheld a previous injunction from a lower court, preventing the state from investigating parents who provide gender-affirming medical treatments to their transgender children.

Governor Greg Abbott had labeled such treatments as abusive and ordered the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) to conduct child abuse investigations into families whose children were receiving puberty-blocking treatments in February 2022.

However, a month later, a district court judge issued a statewide temporary injunction against these investigations, citing potential harm to children and their families.

The appeals court in Austin affirmed this injunction on Friday, marking a victory for LGBTQ groups, medical professionals, and civil liberties advocates who opposed efforts by conservative politicians in numerous states to criminalize gender-transitioning treatments for transgender youth.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal challenged Abbott’s directive on behalf of the family of a 16-year-old transgender girl who was the subject of investigation.

The girl had been undergoing puberty-delaying medications and hormone therapy.

Her mother, a DFPS employee, was placed on paid administrative leave after inquiring about the implications of Abbott’s directive for her family.

The district court judge in 2022 expressed concerns that the governor’s order could cause irreparable harm to families due to the stigma associated with being investigated for child abuse, as well as potential loss of employment.

In 2023, Texas implemented restrictions on gender-affirming care for youth, joining over a dozen other states that prohibit young transgender individuals from accessing certain puberty-blockers and hormone therapies, as reported by the Human Rights Campaign tracker.