Texas court partially blocks Abbott's directive to investigate parents of trans youth

A district court in Travis County has partially blocked the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) from investigating a family of a transgender teen in accordance with a recent directive from Gov. Greg Abbott.

The court has granted a temporary restraining order on Wednesday to block DFPS from investigating the plaintiffs of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU of Texas), the ACLU, and Lambda Legal, says the ACLU.

The ACLU says that while the court has limited the temporary restraining order to just the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, a hearing has been scheduled for March 11 to decide where to block the governor, commissioner, and DFPS’s actions more broadly.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an employee of DFPS, her husband, and their transgender teen, who filed it anonymously. According to the complaint, this family has had an investigator already arrive at their home. 

Dr. Megan Mooney, a licensed psychologist considered a mandatory reporter under Texas law and cannot comply with the governor’s directive without harming her clients and violating her ethical obligations, is also a plaintiff in the suit.

The lawsuit comes after Abbott directed state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care for transgender kids as child abuse while referencing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's recent formal opinion concluding that "performing certain ‘sex-change' procedures on children, and prescribing puberty-blockers to them, is 'child abuse’ under Texas law."

DFPS later said in a statement: "In accordance with Governor Abbott’s directive to Commissioner Masters, we will follow Texas law as explained in Attorney General opinion KP-0401. At this time, there are no pending investigations of child abuse involving the procedures described in that opinion. If any such allegations are reported to us, they will be investigated under existing policies of Child Protective Investigations."

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