Minnesota bill could strip parents of custody for opposing ‘gender-affirming care’ for kids

by WorldTribune Staff, March 26, 2023

The Democrat-controlled Minnesota legislature has advanced a bill introduced by a transgender representative that could strip custody from parents who oppose their child changing genders.

Minnesota state Rep. Leigh Finke

Under a provision in the bill, HF 146, the state can claim temporary emergency jurisdiction over a child if they are in the state and “the child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care.”

The bill moved forward with a party-line vote of 68-62.

The legislation was introduced by state Rep. Leigh Finke of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, who is transgender.

“Gender-affirming care is lifesaving health care,” Finke told reporters ahead of debate on the bill. “Withholding or delaying gender-affirming care can have a dramatic impact on the mental health of any individual who needs it. Rates of depression, suicide, substance abuse are dramatically higher in transgender and gender-expansive individuals who lack access to care.”

Conservative legal experts and advocacy organizations warned that the way the legislation is written means that Minnesota parents can lose custody of their children if they do not consent to sex change procedures, puberty blockers, or hormones.

“The most insidious aspect of this bill is the language that adds children who are being denied ‘gender-affirming care’ (defined as everything from therapy to hormone blockers, to transition surgery) to what amounts to the definition for a child ‘in need of protection or services’ in Minnesota, allowing the courts to take ‘emergency custody’ of the child,” Bob Roby, a licensed attorney in Minnesota with more than 30 years experience in family and juvenile court, told Fox News.

“This kind of court power has a long-standing precedent in Minnesota for keeping children safe. When a child is at risk of being harmed by a parent or custodian, the State has immediate authority to remove and protect the child from harm. Without this, there would be no way to protect children in those situations,” Roby continued. “To add children who are being denied ‘gender affirming care’ to the definition of children in need of this kind of drastic emergency action is obviously unwarranted.”

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