2022-02-22 State of Texas Executive Directive

From LGBTQIA+ Archives

On February 22nd, 2022, Governor Greg Abbott of the State of Texas issued an executive directive requiring the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate supportive families of transgender youth for "child abuse".

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The Honorable Jaime Masters Commissioner Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 701 West 51st Street Austin, Texas 78751

Dear Commissioner Masters:

Consistent with our correspondence in August 2021, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called “sex change” procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law. Because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.

As OAG Opinion No. KP-0401 makes clear, it is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen. See TEX. FAM. CODE § 261.001(1)(A)–(D) (defining “abuse”). Texas law imposes reporting requirements upon all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses, and teachers, and provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse. See id. §§ 261.101(b), 261.109(a-1). There are similar reporting requirements and criminal penalties for members of the general public. See id. §§ 261.101(a), 261.109(a).

Texas law also imposes a duty on DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender-transitioning procedures, and on other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may occur. See TEX. FAM. CODE § 261.301(a)–(b). To protect Texas children from abuse, DFPS and all other state agencies must follow the law as explained in OAG Opinion No. KP-0401.

Sincerely, Greg Abbott Governor