A new wrinkle has been added to the ongoing battle regarding gender transitions for minors, as a group “dedicated to the health of all children” declared anyone under 18 doesn’t have the agency to decide they want a tattoo but approves of “gender-affirming care.”
The New York Times reported Sunday that a New York mother was arrested after giving her 10-year-old son permission to get a tattoo.
“While some states have no minimum age for receiving a tattoo if a parent allows it, New York State forbids anyone younger than 18 from getting tattooed with or without parental consent,” the Times reported.
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According to the Times, the tattoo artist was also arrested. Ink Magazine reported that the mother was charged with one count of endangering a child, and the tattoo artist was charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
The Times cited a pediatrician whose work has been issued by the American Academy of Pediatric Medicine, which bills itself as “dedicated to the health of all children.” The group is made up of 67,000 pediatricians, according to its website.
“It is a permanent mark or a symbol you are putting on your body, and I don’t think kids under 18 have that kind of agency to make a decision,” Dr. Cora Bruener told the Times. “We need to look at these laws again.”
While the American Academy of Pediatric Medicine doesn’t believe minors should be allowed to receive tattoos, the group is in favor of allowing gender transitions for children under 18.
The American Academy of Pediatric Medicine filed amicus briefs in support of legal challenges brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in several states.
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“It is critically important for every child to have access to quality, comprehensive and evidence-based care — transgender and gender-diverse youth are no exception. As pediatricians, we will continue to speak up and advocate for our patients. We also want transgender and gender-diverse youth to know that not only do we care for them, we care about them, we value them and we will do all we can to ensure they have access to the care they need and deserve,” ex-AAP president Lee Savio Beers, M.D., said in January.
One of the amicus briefs filed by the AAP was an effort to combat Arkansas attempting to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youths and prohibiting health care providers from referring them for gender-affirming care.
In August, AAP president Moira Szilagyi, M.D., explained the group’s updated position in a letter to the Wall Street Journal.
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“The AAP advises pediatricians to offer developmentally appropriate care that is oriented toward understanding and appreciating the youth’s gender experience. This care is nonjudgmental, includes families and allows questions and concerns to be raised in a supportive environment. This is what it means to ‘affirm’ a child or teen; it means destigmatizing gender variance and promoting a child’s self-worth. Gender-affirming care can be lifesaving. It doesn’t push medical treatments or surgery; for the vast majority of children, it recommends the opposite,” Szilagyi wrote. “The AAP will continue to stand up for all children and adolescents, including those who are transgender.”
The AAP did not immediately respond when asked if the group believes getting a tattoo is a bigger decision than receiving gender-affirming care.