California Pushes Child 'Autonomy,' Allows 12-Year-Olds To Seek Treatments Without Parental Consent

The bill would effectively allow school counselors and other authority figures to place children in health care facilities or to receive treatments without parental consent.

What’s happening? A new California bill, which passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee, is trying to make it possible for all children over 12 to receive mental health or counseling services without parental consent. Proponents of the bill portray it as a way to expand mental health care access, but critics see it as another blow to parental rights.

What’s in the bill? Assembly Bill 665 aims to update state law and allow minors as young as 12 to receive medical services without parental permission. Current law only allows children deemed “mature enough” to receive a range of care without their parents, but only if they’re in threatening situations. This bill would remove the latter requirement.

Why it matters: The bill would effectively allow school counselors and other authority figures to place children in health care facilities or to receive treatments without parental consent. Such treatments can include “gender-affirming care” and transition treatments without families ever being informed. Parents and critics are alarmed, considering the secretive nature of spreading gender ideology in schools. Teachers, nonprofits like the American Civil Liberties Union, and Democrats are pushing for parents to know less about their children's gender identity, not more.

Big picture: In response to the parental rights movement, with Republican states banning experimental “gender-affirming care” for minors, California established itself as a state of “refuge” for child sex changes and child “autonomy.” A bill even makes it possible for parents to lose custody of their children if they refuse to transition them.