Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines

The Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines: for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents (ASOCTG), aim to maximise quality care provision to transgender and gender diverse (TGD) children and adolescents across Australia, while recognising the unique circumstances of providing such care to this population.
You can learn more from AusPath:

Center of Excellence for Transgender Health

Center of Excellence for Transgender Health (Uni of California – San Francisco)
An additional resource providing guidelines of care for gender affirming care of transgender and gender diverse persons. This is a very in-depth resource and highly regarded.

Trans Health SA (THSA) reminds our audience that these are tools for medical practitioners to provide patient informed care with the support of the practitioner. THSA does not endorse nor promote, in any way, self medication.

Puberty Suppression in Australia

Extract from Transhub:
“In Australia, trans young people may commence puberty blockers with permission from both carers or guardians, and their doctor. This is usually coordinated through a multi-disciplinary team, when available.

Family Court Of Australia – Kelvin, 2017

A Family Court ruling (Re Kelvin, 2017) overturned existing law that required an adolescent and their family to go to The Family Court of Australia to gain authority to commence puberty blockers prior to 18.

Family Court of Australia – Imogen 2020

This ruling was further clarified in the judgment of Re Imogen 2020 to mean that treatment can be commenced in Australia with people under 18 when there is no dispute between parents (or those with parental responsibility), the medical practitioner and the young person themselves with regard to:

  • The Gillick competence of an adolescent; or

  • A diagnosis of gender dysphoria; or

  • Proposed treatment for gender dysphoria

Any dispute requires a mandatory application to the Family Court of Australia as per the judgement of Re Imogen 2020.

Legal limitations for medical practitioners

Medical practitioners seeing patients under the age of 18 are unable to initiate puberty blockers or gender affirming hormonal treatment without first ascertaining whether or not a child’s parents or legal guardians consent to the proposed treatment. If there is a dispute about consent or treatment, a doctor should not administer puberty blockers (“Stage 1”), hormones (“Stage 2”) or surgical intervention (“Stage 3”) without court authorisation.

For trans people under 18 whose parents, carers or guardians will not consent to starting hormones, the Family Court must be involved. Unfortunately, in many cases where parents, carers or guardians do not consent, this may result in a trans person simply waiting until they are 18 to access puberty blockers and hormones, or seeking to access them outside of medical care and oversight.

Further assistance for trans people is also available at Inner City Legal Centre who offer a NSW-wide free legal service for trans and gender diverse people.

AusPATH endorses local and international Standards of Care that offer guidance on puberty suppression for trans young people and adolescents.”