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Bill Improves Care For Transgender Foster Children

A new bill could be a big win for transgender foster children in Nevada.

If it passes, foster parents and state agencies would have to treat foster children according to their gender identity, regardless of their biological sex.

“Ultimately, what we want to do is ensure that LGBTQ youth in and out of foster care settings have the proper protections in place to be able to express themselves freely, to live life in the warm comfortable open environments,” Assemblyman Nelson Araujo said.  

The bill would also require training for foster parents and state agencies, and would establish a system for foster children to report issues and have them resolved.

Tristan Torres is a former foster child and a transgender youth. He said he was taken in by a foster mother who thought she could handle what Tristan was going through, but in the end, Tristan said that wasn't the case.

He said his foster mother used the name on his birth certificate, instead of the name he preferred. She also continued to use the wrong pronouns. 

Torres was placed in a second foster home but after an initial few months of things going well his foster parents changed.

"The first initial sign that things were not going to go as I expected was my foster parents purposefully calling me by the name on my birth certificate and using 'she,' 'her,' 'hers,' pronouns with me specifically to be antagonizing," Torres said. 

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He said it wasn't a case of the foster parents not knowing any better, but it was more about establishing their authority over him. 

Torres was eventually reunited with his biological mother. 

He believes a bill like this one would have definitely helped him in foster care, because it not only would have helped foster parents understand and cope with his special needs but those around him as well. 

Guests

Nelson Araujo, assemblyman; Tristan Torres, former foster child

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