Governor Abbott Receives Response From DFPS Regarding Whether Genital Mutilation Through Reassignment Surgery Constitutes Child Abuse

August 11, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today received a response from Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner Jaime Masters concerning whether genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse. The Governor previously directed DFPS to issue a determination on this matter last week. 

In the letter, Commissioner Masters determines that genital mutation of a child through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse because it may cause a genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child. 

"Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse," reads Commissioner Masters' letter. "This surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies."

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.

Read the full letter.