This topic seems to be a real hot button for conservatives, but I also think that some misinformation has been spread. They leave the impression that affirmation surgeries have been performed on children. From what I remember, the youngest was 13 and there are very, very few cases like that.
There is a danger with allowing parents to decide what happens. The granularity of the questions don’t make a distinction between parents being the sole decision makers or sharing the decision with their kid, a therapist and a medical doctor. In theory, yes the parent should be involved, but that can totally block the process for what the kid really needs help. Worse, they could force their kid into conversion therapy, but as we know, that does not work. But, it you took the patents completely out of the loop and the kid started HRT or later started affirmation surgeries, what sort of support would they come home to?
In general, I do not like the idea of moving forward with transition only based on the person’s consent. There has to be checks and balances. The danger is that if they detransition, based on what it didn’t do for their dysphoria, it becomes easy for conservatives to say that transition should not be allowed because it doesn’t work. The fact that transitioning has helped MANY, MANY people is lost in the smoke and haze. Notice how conservatives trot out Walt Heyer to talk about transitioning/detransitioning. The truth of the matter is that he gamed the system. He lied and distorted what he told his therapist in order to get them to sign off. However, I believe that he should have never transitioned in the first place. It used to be that the bar was living as your target gender for a year. While I think that should be reduced, I think it is a good idea.
I question waiting until 18 to do any sort of affirmation care. That would mean that the kid would likely have gone through several years of misery. To me, that would be hard to justify. It would likely mean that anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs would be used and I don’t feel that’s a good idea as it doesn’t address the root of the problem. It only puts a band-aid on the symptoms.