Judge Temporarily Stops Texas From Investigating The Parents Of A Transgender Child

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 27: Texas Governor Greg Abbott prepares to speak at the Houston Region Business Coalition's monthly meeting on October 27, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Abbott spoke on Texas' economic achievements... HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 27: Texas Governor Greg Abbott prepares to speak at the Houston Region Business Coalition's monthly meeting on October 27, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Abbott spoke on Texas' economic achievements and gave an update on the state's business environment. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A Texas judge temporarily blocked the state from investigating the parents of a transgender teen, a day after they sued Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over his abrupt directive against care for trans youth in the state last week. One of the parents who sued Abbott works for the state agency carrying out the governor’s order.

The intervention was issued by District Judge Amy Clark Meachum in Austin, Texas in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Lambda Legal on Tuesday on behalf of an employee of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). The staffer has a 16-year-old transgender daughter. The parent sued after an investigator from DFPS visited her to inquire about medical records related to her child.

In the ruling issued Wednesday night, Meachum wrote that the parents and the teen “face the imminent and ongoing deprivation of their constitutional rights, the potential loss of necessary medical care, and the stigma attached to being the subject of an unfounded child abuse investigation.”

The ruling, however, stopped short of barring the state from looking into other reports about other transgender children in the state who are receiving similar gender-affirming care.

The judge set a March 11 hearing on whether to issue a broader order barring enforcement of Abbott’s directive to treat gender-affirming care for transgender youth as “child abuse.”

The unnamed employee of DFPS who sued Abbott earlier this week alleged in a complaint that she was put on administrative leave after seeking clarification on how the Texas governor’s new anti-trans directive might impact DFPS’ office policies.

According to the complaint, the employee alleged that a day after she was placed on leave by DFPS, she was informed her family would be investigated in accordance with Abbott’s directive to determine whether she and the child’s other parent had “committed abuse” by obtaining medical care for their transgender daughter. The DFPS employee said in the complaint that both she and the other parent of the transgender child refused to voluntarily hand records over to the agency when a DFPS Child Protective Services investigator visited the family.

The lawsuit brought by the DFPS employee was filed the same day as the Texas gubernatorial primary. Abbott is now set to face Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the governor race later this year.

A day after the lawsuit was filed, President Biden took aim at Abbott’s directive for state agencies to investigate gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth.

The President excoriated Abbott’s directive as “a cynical and dangerous campaign targeting transgender children and their parents” in a statement. Additionally, the President noted that the Department of Health and Human Services announced several actions “to keep transgender children in Texas and their families safe — putting the state of Texas on notice that their discriminatory actions put children’s lives at risk.”

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for kida kida says:

    Good, if limited, ruling.
    Republicans have no soul

  2. Avatar for jw1 jw1 says:

    As the majority of Americans become more tolerant of their friends’, neighbors’, and family’s differences-- evil mf-ers like Abbott have to dig ever deeper to contrive new boogie-men (and -children).

    Support Beto. Vote Beto.

  3. Cruelty is the prime directive.
    I haven’t heard if they’ve thought beyond an investigation into a trans child getting gender affirming care. If as this directive states that gender affirming care is child abuse then the DFPS has the obligation to remove the child from the abusers.

  4. I am not a lawyer, and, being exhausted with all the recent, awful and disparate news, I haven’t followed this story perhaps as closely as I should have. Since this matter concerns health care, and parents tending to the health care of their children in all ways, aren’t there probable HIPAA violations in these so-called investigations? The Repubs cry individual freedom and sovereignty of a person and their body up and until it flies in the face of their grotesque politics.

  5. HIPAA protects you from the unauthorized revelation of your medical records. There work arounds for Government and authority folks. However if you’re dumb enough to volunteer it just because some ass is at your door you have no remedy.

    I don’t think this bill was premised on anything but being a "75 to 80% winner politically. Abbott’s folks said as much. It’s out there for that and they know it’s doomed in the long run.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

23 more replies


Avatar for discobot Avatar for fgs Avatar for richardinjax Avatar for jw1 Avatar for sooner Avatar for ncsteve Avatar for kida Avatar for tecmage Avatar for lastroth Avatar for jaybeeraybee Avatar for hoagie Avatar for jprfrog Avatar for benthere Avatar for edgarant Avatar for eddycollins Avatar for susanintheoc Avatar for isaacmars Avatar for libthinker Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for timbomov Avatar for SheSellsSeashells

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: