Three families claiming to have transgender children filed a federal lawsuit last week against the Arizona Department of Health Services, challenging the state’s law that requires sex reassignment surgery in order to change an individual’s sex on a birth certificate.
The children are aged 13, 10, and 6, reported Arizona Republic, and the case is brought in the wake of another lawsuit by teens who claim to be transgender and are suing the state for not providing insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgeries such as elective double mastectomies and penectomies.
According to the report, Lizette Trujillo claims her daughter, who identifies as male and has already taken puberty blockers, is harmed by the current Arizona law, particularly when the child has wanted to do things such as sign up for a school sports team.
“Something as simple as going to the CVS to get a flu shot is problematic,” Trujillo told Arizona Republic. “Because I had a child who was presenting as male and we didn’t have at the time the insurance changed over.”
She said she is concerned how the law will affect her child when she applies for college and jobs.
“You don’t have a child and think, ‘I hope the world is extra challenging’ when it comes to policy,” Trujillo said. “You want them to have all the experiences and opportunities in the world to thrive.”
Asaf Orr, an attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said the requirement for transgender surgeries to change one’s sex on a birth certificate is unconstitutional and violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment.
“This provision discriminates against transgender people by denying them access to the ability to correct and have a birth certificate that matches their gender identity, which is something that non-transgender people have,” Orr said, adding that because the children involved are so young and are already taking puberty-blocking drugs, they will never need surgery.
The American College of Pediatricians has reported, however, that experts on both sides of the issue of transgender children agree that 80 to 95 percent of children with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria accept their biological sex by late adolescence. Thus, a change in sex on a birth certificate might not be considered until at least late adolescence, when that individual has developed the cognitive skills to consider the ramifications of such a move.
In terms of the biological consequences of transgender treatments for young children, the pediatricians said there is not “a single large, randomized, controlled study” that spells out the alleged benefits and possible harms that may come to children who take puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones.
The College noted that, perhaps of “greater concern,” when puberty blockers are administered at about 11 years of age and followed by cross-sex hormones, children will likely be faced with sterility.