New York City's Administration for Children's Services funded a 21-year-old’s sex-change operation on the grounds that the procedure was covered by a little-known gender-reassignment policy dating back to 2010.
The beneficiary of the taxpayer-funded operation, who is currently in foster care, is reportedly eligible for the procedure due to a lack of insurance.
The operation, in which the patient was transitioning from a man to a woman, was performed last week in Pennsylvania.
This marks the second time that taxpayers have paid for the city’s gender-reassignment policy.
Mariah Lopez, an activist with Strategic Transgender Alliance for Radical Reform, said the Administration for Children’s Services gave the go-ahead on the procedure before the beneficiary turned 21, the age when most leave the foster care system, the New York Daily News reported.
The beneficiary of the sex-change operation, whose name has not yet been released to the public, “will inspire others,” Lopez said.
“What’s happening now is a shift by ACS, in the largest city in the world, influencing health care nationally,” she added.
New York City's Administration for Children's Services said in a statement that it cares about promoting “the health and well-being of all young people in its care.”
“ACS reviews all requests for medical treatment on a case-by-case basis, conducting internal reviews as well as consulting medical professionals’ expertise, to ascertain the nature and severity of a medical condition and determine if a procedure will provide a significant benefit to a youth,” the statement said.
Aron Janssen, a child psychiatrist at NYU Langone Medical Center, said gender-reassignment operations “can be lifesaving.”
“It’s not a cosmetic procedure,” he said. “It’s treatment.”
A gender-reassignment operation costs approximately $10,000, the Daily News reported.
He added that people who are uncomfortable with their gender often turn to substance abuse, even suicide, if their issues are not treated properly.
The ACS is currently reviewing “several” additional requests for gender-reassignment operations, the Daily News reported.
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