Alberta’s government is introducing policies to make sure children are supported as they grow into adults to become the people they want to be.
The government is introducing policies across several ministries to preserve the choices children and youth have before potentially making life-altering and often irreversible adult decisions involving the alteration of their biological sex while also ensuring women and girls have the opportunity to participate safely and meaningfully in sport. In addition, the government will improve access to health services for Alberta’s transgender community and social supports for children identifying as transgender and their families.
Supports for transgender adults
Health care supports for transgender Albertans are critically important, which is why the government is working to bring medical professionals who specialize in pre- and post-operative transgender care for adults to Alberta. Having this expertise in the province will ensure transitioning Albertans have improved access to an Alberta-based medical expert to assist them with their unique and complex medical needs without having to travel to Quebec, which is currently the practice.
In addition, Alberta Health will develop a private registry of medical professionals who specialize in this field to make it easier for transgender Albertans to access needed medical treatment and care.
Child-and youth-centred policies
In the coming months, Alberta’s government will implement the following health policies related to children identifying as transgender:
- All gender reassignment surgeries for minors aged 17 and under will be prohibited.
- The use of puberty blockers and hormone therapies for the purpose of gender reassignment or affirmation will not be permitted for children aged 15 and under, except for those who have already commenced treatment.
- Mature teens, aged 16 and 17, may only choose to commence puberty blockers and hormone therapies for gender reassignment and affirmation purposes with parental, physician and psychologist approval.
As it relates to Alberta’s education system, the following reforms will be implemented:
- Parents must be notified and opt in to any instance when a teacher provides formal instruction on subject matter involving gender identity, sexual orientation or human sexuality.
- All third-party resource materials or presentations related to gender identity, sexual orientation or human sexuality available in Alberta classrooms must be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure they are age-appropriate.
- Parents must consent for their child aged 15 and under to alter their name or pronouns used by school teachers, administration and other educational staff.
- Parents must be notified for their child aged 16 or 17 to alter their name or pronouns used by school teachers, administration and other educational staff.
Alberta’s government is also developing a counselling pilot project to help youth identifying as transgender and their families work through often difficult and complex issues and discussions.
Women, girls and transgender athletes
Finally, as it relates to women, girls and transgender female athletes, Alberta’s government will work with sporting organizations in the province to ensure biologically born female athletes are able to compete in a biological female-only division without having to compete against transgender female athletes while also expanding co-ed or other gender-neutral divisions for athletic competitions to ensure that transgender athletes are able to meaningfully participate in the sport of their choice.