Here We Go: Kansas Child Welfare Agency Wants Foster Parents to Affirm Gender Identities of Transgender Children

The child welfare agency in Kansas reportedly wants foster parents to affirm the gender identities of transgender children. But the move could significantly decrease the number of available families in a state with a record-high number of foster children.

Under the direction of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) distributed a document to child-placing agencies ahead of a regularly scheduled meeting in July. The informal three-page paper defined a handful of controversial terms, including gender expression, gender identity, and transgender.

It said all youth should be recognized by their preferred gender identity, allowed to express their gender identity in personal grooming and clothing, and placed in homes that do not impose traditional gender roles on them. Anything other than embracing a child’s gender identity threatens their physical and emotional well-being, DCF said.

Within days of the document’s release, state legislators and pro-family advocates denounced DCF’s direction as a backhanded effort to impose progressive LGBT ideology on Kansas child-placing agencies. The DCF document also could be an attempt to circumvent a law passed by the Republican-led legislature last year that protects state adoption agencies from having to place children in homes that violate the group’s religious beliefs. Within days of winning the state gubernatorial election last November, Kelly said she and her staff would avoid enforcing that law.

DCF has defended the guidance document in recent weeks, saying it was simply a response to questions from agencies about how foster parents can better support transgender youth.

“The fact of wanting children we’re caring for to feel safe and welcome in their foster homes just shouldn’t be a controversial issue to anybody,” said Laura Howard, the top administrator at DCF.

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Source: Baptist Press