Even though more and more states are choosing to ban and/or limit gender-affirming care, a variety of states are choosing to move in the opposite direction.
One of these states is, of course, Maryland. And, right outside of the Maryland area, there is Washington, D.C., which has also made the choice to protect trans youth’s access to gender-affirming care.
To understand this decision and the ways in which trans youth can access the gender-affirming care they need, our D.C. and Maryland family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl must go over the most important laws that govern gender-affirming care within Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Right away, the first law that must be clarified is “D.C. Law 24-307. This law is also known as the “Protecting Health Professionals Providing Reproductive Health Care Amendment Act of 2022.”
Due to the provisions within this law, a doctor within the D.C. area, who provides gender-affirming care, to a patient who lives in a state where gender-affirming care is banned, will be protected from disciplinary measures.
Given this provision, doctors can provide gender-affirming care, within the D.C. area to those who reside within states that do not allow gender-affirming care.
A wealth of similar laws exist within Maryland. Some of the most notable of these laws are as follows:
- Senate Bill 460, which grants gender-affirming treatment to Medicaid recipients.
- House Bill 283 – the Trans Health Coverage Act – which expands the available gender-affirming treatment.
Both of these laws offer a variety of benefits to trans individuals – and, in turn, trans youth – who require gender-affirming care. And with that in mind, some of the most notable benefits that these laws allow for are as follows:
- Trans individuals who rely on Medicaid can obtain the gender-affirming care they need.
- Hair alteration procedures are available to trans individuals who rely on Medicaid.
- Mental health therapy is available to trans individuals who rely on Medicaid.
- Voice modification surgery is available to trans individuals who rely on Medicaid.
- Bodily alterations – to one’s face, for example – are available to trans individuals who rely on Medicaid.
Every single one of the above is related to trans individuals – some of whom are youths, as per the Medicaid program’s rules – who are on Medicaid. But, for trans individuals who are not on Medicaid, these same forms of gender-affirming care are equally accessible.
Regarding gender-affirming care that is specifically for those under the age of eighteen, though, Maryland allows young people to access gender-affirming care that is age-appropriate.
Some examples of gender-affirming care that is considered “age-appropriate” are as follows:
- Puberty blockers that allow young trans individuals to embody their preferred gender.
- Hormone therapy that assists young trans individuals in embodying their preferred gender.
- Certain types of gender-affirming surgeries, although these are rarely granted to minors.
Every single one of the above is available within the state of Maryland and, in turn, the Washington D.C. area. A trans individual, who happens to be a minor, can still obtain the gender-affirming care that they require.
Outside of those laws, it is also worth mentioning that parents and guardians who facilitate their children’s gender-affirming care are legally allowed to do so. And for this reason, they will not receive any penalties, within Maryland or the Washington D.C. area.
Even though the above is true, a variety of different laws are in place that can, and will, affect parents and guardians who have joint custody agreements that were developed in another state. Being aware of these laws and the effect they have on joint custody agreements can help parents avoid potential legal problems.
Contact A Maryland And D.C. Family Law Attorney Today
We, at the Law Offices of Thomas Stahl, can assist you and your family in understanding the gender-affirming laws that exist within the state of Maryland and the Washington D.C. area.
Speak with a Maryland and D.C. family law lawyer today. We will assist you in understanding the current gender-affirming laws and making the legal decisions that are right for you and your children.