The care and treatment of children and adolescents in relation to their gender identity in the UK (2021)

Background Paper

Exploratory project

A transfeminine non binary person and transmasculine gender nonconforming person looking at a phone and laughing

Project update - November 2021

In autumn 2019, we spoke to a wide range of people about the challenges involved in providing care and treatment for young people in relation to their gender identity. From those meetings, we found that there are many areas of consensus, but also a number of unresolved ethical questions that deserve further consideration. We, along with many of the stakeholders involved in the initial meetings, felt that there was a clear role for the Council to play in facilitating further discussion about the ethical challenges in this area, and that we could make a positive contribution to the care and treatment of gender diverse young people in the UK.

In early 2021, we began gathering more evidence to inform this project, and we are very grateful to those who contributed and engaged with us. Since then, there have been a number of external developments - for example, the recent Court of Appeal ruling in Bell v Tavistock, and the NHS’s ongoing independent review of services.

In light of these developments we have, over recent weeks, been reflecting carefully on the initial objectives of the project and whether and how we might still be able to make a helpful, constructive contribution to policy development in this area. Following a number of discussions among the project working group and amongst our Council Members we have come to the decision that this is not the right moment for us to take forward this work in its current form. We do not rule out either returning to this project at a later date or taking on a more substantial project as part of our future programme of work.

We are enormously grateful to everyone who has engaged with us to date. We are currently considering how we might best be able to use the information we have gathered so far.