Texas determines sex assignment surgery for children “constitutes child abuse”

Gov. Abbott announced Wednesday that sex assignment surgery for children “constitutes child abuse” according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

Abbott had previously directed DFPS to issue a determination on this matter.

Commissioner Jaime Masters said in a letter “Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse. This surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies.”

In addition, per Abbott’s announcement:

Commissioner Masters also concludes that:

  • Allegations involving genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and any appropriate actions will be taken.
  • Certain professionals who have “cause to believe” a child has been or may be abused must report that belief to DFPS within 48-hours after the professional first suspects the abuse.
  • Failure to report this abuse is considered a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine, or both. The intentional concealment of such abuse us a state jail felony.
  • The determination and subsequent enforcement are effective immediately.