AUSTIN — Amid an escalating statewide fight over children’s biological identities, state government officials are disregarding biological reality on public birth documents.

In 2019, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s state health department quietly revised the public “Birth Worksheet for Child’s Birth Certificate”—an informational form citizens fill out when their baby is born.

The form now lists three biological sex options for the newborn child’s birth certificate: “male,” “female,” or “?”.

Ironically, the form’s opening paragraph contradicts the rest of the document by mentioning only two sexes.

“The information you provide on this worksheet is used to create your child’s birth certificate. The birth certificate is a legal document that your child will use throughout his/her life to prove your child’s age, citizenship, and parentage,” the form reads.

Abbott’s health department bungling the biological reality of two sexes comes as the Republican-controlled state Legislature has also denied protections for the biological identities of Texas children.

In this year’s state legislative session, lawmakers refused to ban child mutilation surgeries in Texas, a dramatic issue that recently drew national spotlight with the story of James Younger, a 9-year-old Dallas-area boy whose mother wanted to force him—against his father’s wishes—to take sterilizing drugs and eventually be castrated.

James’ mother began telling him he was a girl when he was 2 years old and concocted a persona for him called “Luna,” but James’ father wanted him to be his true biological self.

Furthermore, state legislators also chose not to protect women’s sports, denying a proposed law to ensure male students would not be allowed to compete on specific women’s K-12 interscholastic athletic teams.

The proposal came as school-aged girls across the country faced the threat of losing their sports scholarships and opportunities to boys pretending to be girls. The proposal, one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s top priorities, passed the Texas Senate, but House Republicans again killed the effort.

As an upcoming special legislative session is set to begin in July, and as Texas children’s biological identities remain under attack in the state, Patrick has called for Gov. Abbott to include the proposed women’s sports protection law on the session’s to-do list.

It is not yet clear what Abbott will decide—and much like his health department’s form, he’s currently left vulnerable Texans with a question mark.

Concerned citizens may contact Lt. Gov. Patrick or Gov. Abbott.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.


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