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Lankford Stands Up for Oklahoma Law that Protects Foster Children During Senate Hearing

CLICK HERE to view the Q&A on YouTube.

CLICK HERE to view the Q&A on Rumble. 

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Senate Finance Committee hearing entitled, “The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA): Successes, Roadblocks, and Opportunities for Improvement.” Lankford took the opportunity during his questioning to ask a Health and Human Services witness from the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (ACF) on a recent rule the HHS issued that could force foster parents to allow gender treatments for children or face having them removed from their custody. Referencing the United Kingdom’s recent decision to restrict gender treatments for children, Lankford asked how the Agency’s recent rule conflicts with the enforcement of Oklahoma’s law that prohibits irreversible gender transition procedures from being performed on children. 

Witnesses for the hearing included, Rebecca Jones Gatson, Commissioner, HHS Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (ACF); David Reed, Deputy Director of Child Welfare Services, Indiana Department of Child Services; JooYeun Chang, Program Director for Child Wellbeing, Doris Duke Foundation; and Laurie Tapozada, Kinship Caregiver, Peer Mentor and Kinship Navigator Professional, Cranston, Rhode Island. 


Lankford: … my home state in Oklahoma, our state legislature and the governor signed a law that prohibits irreversible gender transition procedures from being performed on children. It has nothing to do with adults on this. It’s just for minors. Obviously, that’s been a scientific debate that’s happening globally actually. Currently as many countries in Europe have now as a whole as Europe said, “hey we’re not going to do that anymore.” America is still having that debate on it on the issue on children for irreversible transition procedures on this. The law has been upheld. The Oklahoma law has been upheld by the federal district court on that. Will the rule, will this have an issue that conflicts with enforcement in Oklahoma, in my home state, for that new rule and how it’s proposed. Is there any challenge that would be there between the state of Oklahoma and their law and between this new rule?

Gaston: So, the rule is focused on having the placements to meet children’s needs and so it is about the foster placement and then the supports and services that children need. That in many ways enhances the position that we’ve had around individual children. The decisions being made around what their needs are, and who can best meet those needs that stands. The ability to meet those needs from a medical standpoint, the rule does not address the medical issue issues that you’re referring to. We rely on medical professionals and families to make decisions related to the children. This is really specifically focused on the foster care placement and the ability to meet the needs of kids.