Texas Trans Child Abuse Case Heats Up State Courts

Parents accused of abusing their trans child and the court case and appeals.

LGBTQ+ News Headline News Brian Webb

This article was published on March 7th, 2022

Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott was at it again by ordering state child welfare officials to investigate child abuse investigations following reports of transgender kids receiving care that was classified as gender-affirming. The Vigil family is at the center of this investigation, and they are concerned that their daughter Adelyn, who identifies as transgender, will be forcibly separated from her mother.

Currently, the family is so fearful that they are not disclosing where Adelyn is receiving medical care as the case continues to heat up in the courts and the LGBTQ+ community rallies around the family and the orders that could have far-reaching repercussions for all transgender children that are living in Texas. 

Abbott Teams Up with Texas Attorney General 

Although state Attorney General Ken Paxton is in a major fight to maintain his position as the AG, he and the governor have teamed up on the non-binding legal opinion that he released that classifies gender-affirming care as child abuse within the state. His opinion also cited body modification surgeries as falling under the decree. Additionally, he also claimed it would be deemed child abuse to administer puberty blockers, even though they are completely reversible and accepted by leading health care groups within the state and beyond. 

Experts contend that with the gender-affirming care model, more time is being spent to allow children to socially transition instead of only focusing on the medical side of treatment. One of the senior attorneys at Lambda Legal, Shelly Skeen, opined that is is not likely that a judge would call these abuse charges or remove a child based strictly on the use of therapy that is defined as gender-affirming, but also offered:

“Texas law has a very clear definition of what child abuse is, and it’s not this,” Skeen said.

Attempting to Weaponize Gender-Affirming Therapy?

Greg Abbott’s attempts in addition to the attorney general’s statements have drawn ire from families within the LGBTQ+ community, medical workers, lawmakers, and even the White House, and the growing concern currently is that gender-affirming therapy may be weaponized in divorce cases, as well as create even more legal red tape for therapists and physicians who treat transgender children. 

Additionally, it could embolden others to attack young people and cause further headaches for family members and those who support trans rights. Yet, no investigations have been launched, but it is not outside the realm of possibility that someone could be assaulted, harassed, or ultimately killed because of the current wave of news across the state. 

Community Reaction

“This ill-conceived directive from the Texas governor will put at-risk children at even higher risk of anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide,” said Frank C. Worrell, PhD, president of the American Psychological Association. “Gender-affirming care promotes the health and well-being of transgender youth and is provided by medical and mental health professionals, based on well-established scientific research. The peer-reviewed research suggests that transgender children and youth who are treated with affirmation and receive evidence-based treatments tend to see improvements in their psychological well-being.

Anti-Trans Politics Are on The Rise

So intense have Abbot and Paxton’s actions been recently that a program in Dallas to assist transgender youth was formally dissolved, primarily because of the right-wing media targeting them and other organizations. The attempt to ban transgender Texas from using bathrooms failed, but there was success from conservatives to limit athletic participation by transgender students. 

Texas has filed more bills against the transgender community than any other state according to Equality Texas, an organization that tracks such political actions. The current bill was passed in the Texas Senate, but died in the House, and as the bill continues to gain traction in Texas and other states attempting to deny transgender youth rights, HomoCulture will keep updating the situation as it progresses. 


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