Pediatric Gender Program
When a child has questions or concerns related to gender, the entire family is affected. We are a safe, supportive resource and support center for children, adolescents, and young adults who are exploring their gender identity, as well as for their families.
We provide comprehensive, interdisciplinary care for youth who are questioning their assigned gender and/or seeking gender-affirming consultation and care. Our multidisciplinary team includes pediatric endocrinologists, a psychologist, psychiatrists, a medical ethicist, and a lawyer. We work closely together, and also consult with a wide array of specialists. Together, we are committed to providing care in compassionate and respectful ways.
Our clinicians follow current medical protocols, which do not allow for either surgery or drug therapy for prepubescent children. Social transition is the only medically accepted form of gender-affirming care—and the only form of care we provide—for that age group.
When it comes to gender identity and related concerns, our first step is to listen. Some youth are exploring their identity. Others know that how they feel inside does not match up with the gender they were assigned at birth. We help sort through these questions.
After an initial consultation, we offer a thorough readiness assessment, which includes obtaining information from patients and their families. It takes six or eight hours and can be done in one day or divided over several sessions. If we determine that any mental health or other support is needed, we can connect patients with resources at Yale or in the community.
After the evaluation and when all agree that it is safe, healthy, and appropriate, we offer a variety of care options related to gender affirmation. These may include puberty-blocking treatments, cross-hormone therapies, and gender-affirming surgery (available only for patients aged 18 and older).
At the first gender affirmation visit, patients and their families will meet with one of our pediatric endocrinologists and a mental health provider experienced in dealing with gender variance. First and foremost, we make sure we understand our patients’ needs and desires. We will discuss the risks and side effects of any proposed care options, and work together to learn what support systems are already in place and determine what else our patients may need.
If you are in crisis, call the confidential toll-free National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If texting is easier, you can also text theNational Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.