The ruling by a Texas appeals court is the latest move in the battle over gender-affirming medical care for children in the state.
An appeals court in Texas has reinstated an injunction that blocked the state from child abuse investigations into parents providing gender-affirming medical care for their children.
While their legality is not yet fully determined, carrying out the probes could cause “irreparable harm,” the Texas Third Court of Appeals ruled on Monday.
“Having reviewed the record, we conclude that reinstating the temporary injunction is necessary to maintain the status quo and preserve the rights of all parties,” it said.
The court was deciding on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Lambda Legal on behalf of the parents of a local transgender teen, who were being investigated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) for potential child abuse.
The family in question was identified only as John, Jane, and Mary Doe. One of its members – Jane Doe, who is herself a DFPS employee – was placed on leave and told that she would be investigated by the agency after the new policy was introduced last month.
Those developments “wreaked havoc on the Doe family,” who now lives in “constant fear,” the lawsuit stated. Their child, Mary, has been “traumatized by the prospect that she could be separated from her parents and could lose access to the medical treatment that has enabled her to thrive,” it added.
The legal standoff began in late February when Governor Greg Abbott said that gender-affirming procedures “constitute child abuse under existing Texas law,” and told the Family and Protective Services to look into families that provide them for their kids.