The Federalist| May 28, 2024
Original article can be viewed HERE


A sophisticated, nationwide “accreditation” campaign by the National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is covertly building a “gender-affirming” monopoly over official child abuse proceedings managed by child advocacy centers (CACs) in every state.

A recent Virginia bill that would have granted NCA sole statutory control over the accreditation of these centers has brought to light similar legislation in many states. NCA is the primary membership association for CACs, offering an accreditation process that generally reflects years of laudable service to victimized children. The notable and dangerous exception? NCA’s embrace of so-called “gender-affirming care.”

The “gender-affirming” treatment model fails the basic standards of evidentiary support and has been curtailed by multiple countries as a result. Britain’s recently released watershed Cass Review comprehensively details the paucity of evidence and the risks of harm. In direct contrast, NCA Executive Director Teresa Huizar asserts that “[d]enying trans children the right to determine their own identity kills them.”

Ironically, this belief system endangers the very children NCA seeks to help.

It is no accident that NCA’s push for control over accreditation in states is mirrored at the federal level by the Biden administration’s new LGBT-affirming “certification” rule for prospective foster and adoptive parents. The Biden rule stands to devastate the foster system, which relies heavily on reality-affirming families of faith.

Both the NCA and the Biden “accreditation” processes put vulnerable children at risk from misguided personnel convinced that “misgendering” is abuse. Children have been wrongfully removed from loving families, while children already in state care have been denied foster and adoptive homes, facing harm from state-sanctioned medical transition instead.

States must act not only to prevent reality-denying “accreditation” monopolies but by codifying in law the most basic of truths: It is not “abuse” to raise a girl as a girl or a boy as a boy.

State-sanctioned Abduction and Denial of Homes

From Virginia to California, to Indiana and Montana, parents have lost children to state systems whose mission to protect children has been hijacked by gender ideologues. Children have been taken from parents for medicalization and removed into state systems where the risk of actual abuse skyrockets. They have suffered lifelong harm and even died. Some Democrat-run states, by excluding reality-affirming foster families, have denied thousands of homes to vulnerable children.

Democrat politicians, in tandem with the Biden administration, are fighting to institutionalize these developments with legislation redefining abuse, criminalizing reality-affirming parentsremoving their children, and luring minors to “shield states” for medical transition.

Building a Stealth ‘Gender-Affirming’ Monopoly

Over the last several years, dozens of “accreditation” bills have quietly moved states toward enshrining “gender affirmation” in child protection systems, while sidelining objectors.

Child advocacy centers (CACs) provide essential care to victims of child abuse through private-publicmulti-disciplinary centers. Services range from “forensic interviews” establishing abuse to case management and referrals for mental health and medical treatment. As the primary membership association for CACs, NCA offers accreditation, training, case management software, and other resources. NCA enjoys prominent, bipartisan support, and lobbies for “the adoption of defining legislation [as] a critical element in the success of Children’s Advocacy Centers, particularly related to their ability to seek and secure funding.”

However, NCA advocacy materials strategically omit what exactly “defining legislation” means. In many state bills, like Virginia’s SB 12, “defining” CACs doesn’t just mean establishing criteria — it means granting NCA sole control over accreditation.

Why is this problematic? Child welfare attorney Tom Rawlings explains that while “NCA standards generally reflect good practice,” “placing accreditation power … in the hands of one organization means that the accrediting body’s agenda drives the work.”

In practice, as expressed by parental rights attorney Mary McAlister, local CACs “that do not share NCA’s enthusiasm for [gender-affirming] treatments will not be ‘accredited’ and therefore will lose any voice in their communities regarding child abuse prevention.”

NCA reports that at least 34 states have now adopted “defining” legislation. More bills are pending.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin wisely removed this NCA monopoly provision from SB 12. Other states must take note.

NCA’s DEI Standard: Ideology Overwhelms Evidence

Many NCA standards are technical, but its prominently featured standard on “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) departs sharply from evidence into ideology.

This standard incorporates “implicit bias” and comprehensive, ongoing DEI assessments, which extend beyond simply understanding a family’s culture and community. NCA’s bibliography recommends “evaluat[ing] the effectiveness of integrating Critical Race Theory and other antiracist training.”

The injection of DEI into child abuse adjudications has already put children at risk in New York and other states. Efforts to avoid stigmatizing certain groups are leading child protection officials to leave children in fatal abuse situations.

NCA’s DEI training is led by the former director of inclusion for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), infamous for endangering women by allowing trans-identifying males to compete against them. The same ideology informs NCA’s whole-hearted embrace of “gender-affirming care” under the leadership of Huizar, executive director since 2008.

NCA’s LGBT “affirming” framework is reinforced through collaboration with the National Child Trauma Stress Network (NCTSN), where Huizar has served on the advisory board since 2010. In her dual role, she fosters “invaluable,” “constant positive cross-fertilization between the two networks,” from joint services to advisory boards, resources, staff, and training.

‘Gender-Affirming Care’ Compounds Trauma

One such “terrific resource” Huizar recommends bears the stunning title “Gender-Affirming Care is Trauma-Informed Care.” It directs parents and providers to always “believe and validate” and “actively affirm” any identities claimed by a child, or risk causing “oppression-based trauma.”

In fact, evidence indicates the inverse is true. Complex psychiatric comorbidities and histories of trauma are significantly linked to the development of gender dysphoria, and “gender-affirming care” actually worsens outcomes.

Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, a clinical social worker and researcher with expertise in trauma-focused treatment, explains. “Dissociation can be a response to a traumatic event(s). ‘Gender affirming care’ reinforces a dissociative process by encouraging a person to disconnect from their body and ultimately reality. In this way, ‘gender affirming care’ facilitates the negative trauma response rather than healing it.”

More broadly, the comprehensive Cass Review has dismantled any pretense that “gender-affirming care” is built on scientific evidence. And while Britain and other nations are sharply curtailing the practice, the U.S. — and Huizar — are moving full speed ahead.

‘Reliable Sources’ Circumvent Ethics and Evidence

Huizar recommends the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) as a “reliable source,” despite recently leaked files revealing WPATH’s sickening recklessness. The U.S. medical associations Huizar cites, such as the AAP, have merely created a veneer of consensus by characterizing WPATH as the gold standard of care, then citing each other in a self-referential cycle dubbed by scholar Leor Sapir as “credibility laundering.” Lawsuits are beginning to force a reckoning with the harm inflicted on patients by WPATH-informed “care.”

Even more sickening, particularly for an organization fighting child abuse, WPATH created its “standards of care” in official collaboration with pedophilic eunuch fetishists, as reported by Genevieve Gluck. WPATH legitimized “eunuch” as an identity, justifying “nullification” surgery (removal of genitals). One WPATH “expert” curates sadistic child pornographic literature online and publishes “research” on male fantasies of castrating, raping, and murdering boys, Gluck reports.

Another source of “facts” Huizar quotes to combat “misinformation” is GenderGP, an online “clinic” that illegally prescribed hormones to minors without parental consent. It is so disreputable the British government issued an official warning against it. Yet Huizar uncritically repeats GenderGP’s many false claims, including that puberty blockers are reversible and detransition is “rare.”

NCA Recommends ‘Screening’ Young Children for Gender Identities, Sexual Attractions

NCA has embedded “gender affirmation” in its practices and training, with the central belief that identities asserted by children, regardless of age or basis in reality, represent “who they are authentically” (an activist catchphrase).

This orthodoxy is fleshed out in another, jaw-dropping “terrific resource” Huizar recommends: the “Screener For The Intersection Of Trauma And Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity.”

Children beginning at age 7 are questioned about pronouns (seven possible answers) and gender identities (13 options). As “gender constancy forms between ages 3-5,” personnel are encouraged to consider discussions at earlier ages. From age 12, answers are elicited about sexual orientation (12 possibilities) and attraction (13 answers).

The screener then offers eight questions about mistreatment, rejection, or abuse “based on your actual or perceived gender identity, sexual orientation, or intersex traits,” followed by asking whether the child wants to disclose the information. The underlying presumption? The failure of parents to “actively affirm” is inherently abusive to children.

NCA recommends as resources activist groups such as Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, Trevor Project, and Human Rights Campaign, which all raise the specter of “abuse” to justify concealing so-called gender transition from parents in schools. Their materials prepare educators — mandatory reporters of abuse — to testify in court against parents who may not “affirm.”

Children at Risk in Foster Care

Children already in state care are especially vulnerable. “The foster care population exists because of trauma. Their experiences of abuse can create developmental challenges. … [T]rauma changes the brain,” says Dr. Bauwens. “Introducing gender affirmation will only serve to compound the trauma they already have.”

And yet, reflecting the same framework as NCA, the Biden administration now requires LGBT “safe” fostering “certification.”

“With the new Biden proposals, faith-based foster providers will be excluded,” Bauwens explains, “which means only gender ideology adherents can foster a child. This will reinforce [a]… system that does not allow for any other ‘treatment’ than bodily harm.”

As already demonstrated by states that have excluded reality-affirming families from fostering, Biden’s certification requirement will deny thousands of homes to children in desperate need of love, safety, and healing.

States Must Act 

It is imperative that states enact protections.

This means not granting statutory monopolies over accreditation to private associations like NCA, which have detoured in critical ways from evidence-based practices into ideology. And where NCA monopolies have already been codified, states should amend their laws.

More broadly, states must address the danger at its root by enacting legislation clarifying that raising a child according to his or her biology is not “abuse.”

Sage’s Law, named after a Virginia teen who suffered unthinkable abuse because of “affirming” activists in child protection systems, offers one model: “in no event shall referring to and raising the child in a manner consistent with the child’s biological sex, including related mental health or medical decisions, be considered abuse or neglect.”

No child should ever be taken from or denied a loving home in the Orwellian name of “gender-affirming care.”