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Texas Judge Won’t Let State Investigate Parents of Transgender Children

— March 11, 2022

The judge issued her order after hearing from a state inspector who said that cases involving transgender children were being treated very differently from others.

A Texas judge has issued a temporary injunction, which will prevent the state from launching abuse investigations against the parents of some transgender children.

As has reported before, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who had directed the state’s child protection agency to intervene if they suspected that the parents of a transgender child were enabling, facilitating, or permitting certain forms of “gender-affirming therapy” and medical treatment.

The new rules, which were enacted through an executive action rather than legislative reform, intend to protect transgender children from the irrevocable effects of hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery in or before adolescence.

In their complaint, the A.C.L.U. accused Abbott of trampling “on the constitutional rights of transgender children, their parents, and professionals who provide vital care to transgender children.”

Meachum, notes The Guardian, issued the temporary injunction after hearing from Texas Department of Family and Protective Services inspector Randa Mulanax on Friday.

Mulanax said she resigned from the department both because she had concerns about the legality of Gov. Abbott’s order, and because she believed that cases involving transgender children were being treated very differently from others.

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

According to Mulanax, Texas F.P.S. workers were told they could not report suspected cases of abuse involving transgender children as “priority none.”

“Priority none” designations refer to cases that lack merit and do not warrant investigation.

“We had to be investigating these cases,” Mulanax said.

The A.C.L.U. claims that such investigations are unfair and could distract the Department of Family and Protective Services from uncovering and addressing actual abuse.

“​​But they spread fear and misinformation and could spur false reporting of child abuse at a time when DFPS is already facing a crisis in our state’s foster care system,” A.C.L.U. staff attorney Brian Klosterboer said in a statement. “The law is clear that parents, guardians, and doctors can provide transgender youth with treatment in accordance with prevailing standards of care. Any parent or guardian who loves and supports their child and is taking them to a licensed health care provider is not engaging in child abuse.”

On Friday, clinical psychologist Megan Mooney—among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit—reiterated the same points, opining that Abbott’s directive, which allows health care practitioners to be penalized for providing gender-affirming treatment, has created an “outright panic” among mental health professionals and families.

“Parents are terrified that [F.P.S.] is going to come and question their children, or take them away,” Mooney testified. “Mental health professionals are scared that we’re either violating our standards and professional codes of conduct, or in violation of the law.”


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