Chicago, Ill., Jun 2, 2017 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) issued new standards that require its employees and potential foster parents to accept and encourage children who wish to alter their gender. The new policies state that the department “will not tolerate exposing LGBTQ children and youth to staff/providers who are not supportive of children and youths’ right to self-determination of sexual/gender identity,” The Federalist reported earlier this week.

According to the standards, all children have a “right to self-determination of gender and sexual orientation” and to choose their “sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression” which should be viewed as “developmental milestones, not problematic behavior.”   The role of social workers and foster parents is to “facilitate exploration of any LGBTQ matters through an affirming approach…by being open, non-judgmental, and empathic.”

The standards were created with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has long championed extreme LGBT and transgender ideology, and targets any staff, volunteers or potential foster parents who are not sufficiently “LGBTQ-affirming.” Non-compliant adults face either “discipline” or “discharge.”

Mary Rice Hasson, director of the Catholic Women's Forum at The Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., criticized the new policies in an opinion piece in The Federalist last week, noting that the “fiat” to the new ideology now trumps biological facts. "No matter that sexual difference is a scientific fact, or that billions of sane people across the world acknowledge it," she said.

The standards also state that the agency will not contract with any private agencies unless their policies are “at least as extensive” as the department’s LGBTQ policies. “...the state’s child welfare agency is a closed shop, populated with closed minds, and intends to keep it that way. No believers in the binary need apply,” Hasson said. She also noted that because parents relinquish all responsibility and authority over their children when they are wards of the state, parents could not request that their child not receive transgender procedures. They would simply be informed if or when their child has started hormone therapy or other treatments.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Meg Kilgannon, executive director of the Fairfax, Virginia-based Concerned Parents and Educators, criticized the policy, saying that it is ultimately an "erasure of the human person." She noted that this policy illustrates deeper issues regarding transgenderism than the much-discussed “bathroom wars” that often make headlines. "...when you really start to dig into this issue and you start to think about all of the ramifications that something like this means, you discover that gender identity compels speech" by coercing people to use compliant words and pronouns, she said. "If a government entity is set to be the ultimate arbiter of someone's truth, being or existence, then at what point do parents get left out of the equation?" Kilgannon asked.

Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled against a similarly coersive transgender policy - the Obama administration’s mandate that health professionals must carry out gender reassignment surgeries, even if they have medical or religious objections. “The regulation not only forces healthcare professionals to violate their medical judgment, it requires them to violate their deeply held religious beliefs,” U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas said in a Dec. 31 decision granting a temporary injunction against the Obama administration. “Tragically, the regulation would force them to violate those religious beliefs and perform harmful medical transition procedures or else suffer massive financial liability,” the judge added.

Many in the medical field have expressed serious concerns about encouraging transgenderism - particularly hormonal regimens and genital surgeries - in children. In a paper entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” , last updated in May 2017, The American College of Pediatricians said that to encourage a child into thinking that “a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse,” they added.  

Plastic surgeon Dr. Patrick Lappert said during a conference earlier this year that one of the biggest problems with transgender sex change surgeries is that they are permanent and irreversible in any meaningful way, Dr. Lappert said. “'s a permanent, irreversible mutilation of the human person. And there’s no other word for it,” he said.   “It results in permanent sterility. It’s a permanent dissolution of the unitive and the procreative functions. And even the unitive aspect of the sexual embrace is radically hindered if not utterly destroyed,” he said.

This is not the first time that the Illinois DCFS has introduced controversial LGBTQ policies. In 2011, they became the first state to force the Catholic Church out of adoption and foster care services for their refusal to place children with same-sex couples. Currently, the DCFS is also embroiled in another controversy regarding the death of Semaj Crosby, a foster child under their care.

It was announced Wednesday that current DCFS director George Sheldon has resigned in the face of the ethics probe. In the last five years, the DCFS has gone through eight directors or acting directors amid various failures in leadership, the Chicago Tribune reports.