President Biden’s Words Speak for All of Us Who Cherish and Defend Children’s Rights

Contact: Camilla Jenkins,, 917-971-1784

NEW YORK, NY — Last night, President Joe Biden condemned Texas’s abhorrent attack on transgender children, their families, and caretakers while Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra issued guidance that state child welfare agencies should support youth access to gender-affirming medical care. Children’s Rights wholeheartedly supports the Administration’s position. And respected medical professionals agree: providing gender-affirming health care to transgender youth is vital to their physical and emotional well-being.

Until an emergency temporary injunction was issued yesterday, the parents of a 16-year-old transgender girl were being investigated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) – potentially putting them at risk of having their daughter taken from them and placed in foster care. In addition, doctors, nurses, teachers, and others who fail to report instances of such “abusive procedures” to DFPS are subject to criminal penalties under the order.

Children’s Rights is in a unique position to recognize the hypocrisy of state officials who want to call affirming medical care “child abuse” while operating a child welfare system that every day inflicts abuse on children it is charged with protecting. That is why we filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas on behalf of children in long-term care who are being subjected to repeated, destabilizing placement moves, overmedication, and physical and sexual assault.

If Governor Abbott and other Texas leaders really cared about children, they would focus their efforts on repairing the egregious harm they cause every day, rather than cruelly punishing children and families.

As the President said, “In the United States of America, we respect the rights and dignity of all families. Transgender children bring fulfillment to their parents, joy to their friends, and are made in the image of God.”

Sandy Santana, Executive Director at Children’s Rights, issued this statement:

“We agree with the President. This government overreach must stop. The assertions being made by these officials may not be legally binding, but they are politically calculated, devastatingly hurtful, and a distraction from the egregious harm being done to children right now in the badly broken Texas foster care system. Transgender children—and the parents who love them—deserve better. They deserve to be recognized and supported, respected for the choices they make and loved for who they are. Most of all, they deserve to be together.”