After Libs of TikTok exposed the Boston Children’s Hospital last week for performing gender transition surgeries on minors, the hospital rushed to contain the fallout, revising its website to remove the evidence. Leftist media organizations pitched in, with formerly credible news organizations running “fact checks” debunking the claim and articles designed to twist the narrative into one about “threats” made against the hospital, rather than the outrageous behavior that provoked them. Facebook also piled on, permanently suspending Libs of TikTok without warning or explanation. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics went into damage control mode.
Yet it is inarguably true that Boston Children’s Hospital has performed gender transition surgeries on minors. A peer-reviewed study published this March in the Journal of Clinical Medicine used as its dataset 204 gender transition surgeries performed by Center for Gender Surgery (CfGS) at Boston Children’s Hospital from January 2017 to August 2020, in which 65 (around a third) were under the age of 18. The researchers explained that CfGS “was the first pediatric center in the United States to offer gender-affirming chest surgeries for individuals over 15-years-old and genital surgeries for those over 17 years of age.”
With the evident potential for outrage and the high stakes at play, major media organizations have curiously avoided digging deeper into the issue. Since the Boston Children’s Hospital scandal, only a trickle of reporting on other hospitals has appeared in lesser-known outlets, with such sensational revelations as Seattle Children’s Hospital transitioning children as young as nine, and a division head at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago admitting they perform gender transition procedures based upon “anecdotal evidence.”
These three are only the tip of the iceberg. According to research compiled by The Washington Stand (see below), at least 13 hospitals — mostly children’s hospitals — in the United States perform gender transition surgeries on minors. Many of these are among approximately 60 “clinical care programs” promoting gender transitions “for transgender and gender-expansive youth,” according to the pro-transgender-ideology Human Rights Campaign, nationwide.
While legal in most states, performing gender transition surgery on minors violates even the practices suggested by transgender activists themselves. According to “Standards of Care” published by a transgender advocacy group, World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), “age of majority in any country” is a requirement for any type of gender transition surgery (although they leave some ambiguity regarding “top” surgeries, which attempt to reshape a person’s chest to appear as the opposite gender). “Bottom” surgeries, which remove genitals and therefore permanently sterilize a person are even further out-of-bounds. WPATH classifies both types of gender transition surgery as irreversible.
Below is the list of hospitals with their gender clinics, which perform gender transition surgeries on minors, based upon their own websites. These are sorted alphabetically by state.
- The UCLA Gender Health Program’s pediatric practice (Los Angeles, Calif.) includes “puberty suppression therapy” and “hormone replacement therapy.” It also features “gender affirmation surgery.” According to their website, “most surgical procedures are not recommended until adulthood,” which implies that at least some gender transition surgical procedures may be performed prior to adulthood.
- The Gender Clinic at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health (Palo Alto, Calif.) treats both minors and “adults 18 years and older,” offering “puberty blockers and gender affirming hormones.” They provide gender transition surgery to “adolescents and young adults,” touting their “innovative surgical techniques” and “state-of-the-art operating suites.” They boldly state their not-so-medical opinion that “everyone deserves to have their physical body reflect their gender identity.”
- The Division of Plastic Surgery at Connecticut Children’s Hospital (Hartford, Conn.) “offers surgical options for gender affirmation to adolescents.” Their Gender Program recommends parents contact them “when puberty begins” for a range of treatments including “puberty blockers” and “hormone therapy.” They also link to various gender dysphoria support groups, including a Hartford group for ages 16-26 and a Bridgeport group for ages 13-24. In these support groups, children could develop close, emotional bonds to adults who are not relatives.
- The Essence Clinic at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital (Boise, Id.) offers “hormonal therapy, including puberty blockers” and “surgical consultations and referrals” to “children, adolescents, and young adults.” Two of its five providers specialize in surgery.
- The Gender Development Program at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (Chicago, Ill., Westchester, Ill.) offers “gender-affirming surgery referrals” for “children and adolescents,” who may “begin care with us up to age 22.” They say they “work closely with several surgeons who are experienced in this type of care and can provide more information and referrals for patients seeking these services.” However, their 19-member gender development team includes two pediatric surgeons, a pediatric plastic surgeon, and an attending physician of plastic and reconstructive surgery, and one of their three locations is a “surgical treatment center,” making it likely that they perform surgeries in-house.
- At the University of Illinois Hospital (Chicago, Ill.), “gender affirming surgery” is systematically interwoven into their surgical department, with no division between surgeons performing gender transition procedures and surgeons performing other types of plastic surgeries, and seemingly no division in care between children and adults. As an example, the program’s director “focuses on the reconstructive needs of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults up to age 25” and “specializes with adolescents and young adults in the realm of chest reconstruction, including asymmetric breasts, oversized breasts (female macromastia and male gynecomastia), and top surgery.”
- The Boston Children’s Hospital (Boston, Mass.) has offered “gender-affirming chest surgeries for individuals over 15 years old” (see above).
- The Child and Adolescent Transgender Center for Health at Boston Medical Center (Boston, Mass.) provides “access to onsite hormone blockers,” “gender-affirming hormone therapy,” and “referral to … other Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery services” for “children, adolescents, and young adults.” The Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery presents a “unified structure” for all “gender affirming care.” An anonymous testimonial on their website indicates they perform transgender surgeries on minors, “As a parent of a child going through the transgender experience, I have found valuable information on this site. After the surgery, I will be caring for him/her at my home.”
- The Gender and Sexuality Service at NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital (New York, N.Y.) will perform “gender-affirming medical interventions” on a “child, adolescent, or young adult,” working with health insurers “to obtain approvals for presurgical and surgical procedures.” The sizable “Gender and Sexuality Service Team” of nearly 19 doctors include four who represent plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Golisano Children’s Hospital, associated with University of Rochester Medicine, (Rochester, N.Y.) features “gender health services” to “youth and young adults” including “cross-gender hormone therapy,” “pubertal blockade,” and “surgical services” with three surgeons listed.
- Doernbecher Children’s Hospital (Portland, Ore., Beaverton, Ore.) offers “a full range of services for transgender and gender-nonconforming children and teens,” including hormone treatments, surgery, and handouts with tips on how to appear more like the opposite sex. They “evaluate surgery for teens on an individual basis.”
- The Gender Clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital (Seattle, Wash.) accepts “new patients ages 9 to 16.” The services they provide include “puberty blockers,” “gender-affirming hormones,” and “gender-affirming surgery.” While gender transition procedures for minors require parental consent, “Washington state privacy laws limit parent and caregiver access to adolescents’ health information. … The patient chooses whether to consent to releasing medical information.”
- The Gender Health Clinic at Children’s Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Wisc.) focuses on “children and youth” and “will meet with new patients through age 16.” They offer “puberty-suppressing hormone therapy, gender-affirming hormone therapy, surgical treatments, and speech/voice training.” They refer patients 17 or older to “an adult hormone provider.”
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.