AB 957: Gender affirming parent preferred in custody disputes

Would require the court to consider that affirming the minor’s gender identity is in the best interest of the child, and if there is a custody dispute between consenting and nonconsenting parents, would give preference for the consenting parent for custody and visitation. We strongly support parents affirming the goodness of their children, and compassionately caring for children with gender dysphoria. Our concern is that this bill places a thumb on the scale for custody against loving, protective parents that lacks sufficient data to be warranted. Parents must make prudential judgements to support their children, including at times watchful waiting. However, this bill would elevate a loving, protective parent’s non-consent to a child’s social or medical transition to the same level as abuse, violence, or substance use in the eyes of the court for custody disputes and parenting time. Rather than driving a wedge between children and parents, it is in the best interest of children to promote parental communication and involvement.

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