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Lawsuits & Litigation

ACLU Sues Texas After State Investigates Parents of Transgender Teens for Child Abuse

— March 2, 2022

Texas has said that it will investigate the parents of transgender children receiving “gender-affirming treatment” for abuse.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging that the state’s attorney general has begun investigating the parents of transgender children for abuse.

According to CNN, the lawsuit targets an order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott, which directs the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate “any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State.”

Abbott’s order, says CNN, was prompted by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s statement on so-called “gender-affirming treatments” and surgical procedures for transgender children.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit—filed by the ACLU along with non-profit LGBTQ advocacy organization Lambda Legal—are identified as clinical psychologist Dr. Megan Mooney and Jane and John Doe, the pseudonymous parents of transgender teenager “Mary Doe.”

Mary Doe, says CNN, was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a psychological condition wherein a person’s gender identity and biological sex do not align.

Former Texas Attorney General and current Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Image via Flickr/user:Gage Skidmore. (CCA-BY-2.0).

The lawsuit asserts that Mary Doe began receiving gender affirming treatment because “Mary was worried about having to undergo a puberty that would result in permanent physical characteristics not in alignment with her female gender.”

Mary’s parents agreed to the treatment after they say how the onset of puberty caused her “significant distress and exacerbated her [gender] dysphoria.”

“Being able to be affirmed as who she is, including through the course of treatment prescribed by her doctors, has brought Mary significant relief and allowed her to thrive,” the lawsuit states.

Jane Doe, who is herself an employee at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, has asked her to clarify how the agency’s new policy could impact her.

After Doe submitted her request for clarification, she was purportedly placed on leave “because she has a transgender daughter with a medical need for treatment of gender dysphoria.”

The Department of Family and Protective Services later visited Doe’s home and told her that her family was under investigation for child abuse.

“The Doe family is living in constant fear about what will happen to them,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit accuses Texas Gov. Abbot and the DFPS Commissioner James Masters of trying to “legislate through press release” after the state legislature “failed to pass legislation criminalizing well-established and medically necessary treatment for adolescents with gender dysphoria.”

“Governor Abbott’s letter instructing DFPS to investigate the families of transgender children is entirely without Constitutional or statutory authority,” the lawsuit says.

Supporters of Abbott’s new policy claim that children—including underage teenagers—are simply too young and immature to be prescribed medications that could irrevocably alter their physiology.


Texas begins investigating parents of transgender teens for child abuse, according to a lawsuit. One parent works in the department involved in the investigations

Texas has ‘initiated investigations’ into trans kids’ families, lawsuit says

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