California Bill to Exclude Parents from Children’s Mental-Health Care
Progressives increasingly are attacking the right of parents to be in charge of the care of their children — particularly around LGBT issues and sexual-related matters such as birth control and abortion.
In the State of Washington, the senate just passed S.B. 5599, a bill that — as I wrote here a few weeks ago — “allows the parents of children seeking gender-affirming medical interventions to not to be told if their children turn up in shelters.” I predicted “more of this kind of thing in progressive states going forward.” Sure enough, a California bill would allow mental-health professionals to treat children ages twelve and older without parental consent or notification.
Current California law allows such non-notification under restricted circumstances: if the minor is mature enough to participate intelligently in the outpatient services or residential shelter services, and either the minor would present a danger of serious physical or mental harm to themselves or to others or if the minor is the alleged victim of incest or child abuse.
The current bill would repeal the present danger of harm or incest requirements and allow a mental-health professional to decide whether or not to notify parents — paid for by Medical. From A.B. 665 (my emphasis):
A minor who is 12 years of age or older may consent to mental health treatment or counseling on an outpatient basis, or to residential shelter services, if both of the following requirements are satisfied:
(1) The minor, in the opinion of the attending professional person, is mature enough to participate intelligently in the outpatient services or residential shelter services . . .
d) The mental health treatment or counseling of a minor authorized by this section shall include involvement of the minor’s parent or guardian unless the professional person who is treating or counseling the minor, after consulting with the minor, determines that the involvement would be inappropriate.
The bill does not define “inappropriate” — in other words, it would seem to be solely in the opinion of the professional.
The bill states that the purpose is to liberate children of color from having to tell their parents if they require mental-health assistance because of a supposed “significant trepidation about needing to disclose to parents their mental health concerns.” The bill is also expressly aimed at LGBT children because “rejection from parents, harassment in school, and the overall LGBTQ negativity present in society can lead to depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use, and other negative outcomes.”
If this bill passes — and I have little doubt that it will — a minor will be able obtain “gender-affirming” mental-health interventions without parental knowledge or consent. And, since California is already a “gender-affirming” sanctuary state, if a child runs away from home to obtain such affirmation — whether in California or from out of state — not only may parents not be told by the mental-health professional, but they could also be barred by a court from taking custody of their own children.
I am surprised that there hasn’t been much popular objection to laws and bills that essentially transfer responsibility of a child from parents to the state — and not just in cases of actual abuse but also for ideological reasons. But then, the mainstream media doesn’t report these stories extensively, instead focusing rather hysterically on the supposedly “anti-trans” laws red states are passing to protect gender-dysphoric children from interventions that could irreversibly change their bodies.
So, perhaps people simply don’t know. Or maybe I am whistling past the graveyard. Maybe people in progressive states want the state to be in ultimate control of their children.