The following is an excerpt from “The child welfare system can destroy families,” written by Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and published in The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state’s child welfare agencies to investigate parents who provide their transgender children with gender-affirming care on grounds that this constitutes child abuse. Although a temporary injunction has blocked this from happening immediately, the directive has had a chilling effect on the families of transgender children and their health-care providers.
Abbott’s directive is an egregious violation of the civil liberties of transgender children and their families and reflects the nationwide failure to enforce constitutional limits on the power of child protection agents to conduct traumatizing investigations. As the Texas order plays out in court, we ought to follow states that are taking significant measures to protect the constitutional rights of parents and children.
Take Pennsylvania, for example … .
Roberts is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender and the law. She joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with joint appointments in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School. Roberts is also founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society in the Center for Africana Studies.