A doctor at a North Carolina youth gender clinic discussed treating patients as young as 2nd grade with puberty blockers in a video recently spotlighted by a parental rights activist.
The 2020 episode was presented by the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation and the Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership.
Adkins was identified in the video as the director of the Duke Child and Adolescent Gender Care Clinic. The facility is part of the Duke Health system that includes Duke University School of Medicine, where Adkins is an assistant professor of pediatrics.
Parental rights activist Sloan Rachmuth called attention to the video in an article on the website of Education First Alliance (EFA). She's president of the North Carolina watchdog group.
Hospitals around the country have said activists' warnings about such protocols used on young children are part of a "transphobic" campaign of "disinformation."
But Rachmuth sees the videos as important evidence of the truth.
The video shows "we have the facts on our side," she told The Epoch Times.
'Comfortable' with Cross-Sex HormonesIn the 2020 video, Adkins is shown discussing "some of my patients who have significant dysphoria, or who started puberty blockers at what would be maybe 8 or 9 years old" for some patients.
Puberty could be halted for young patients who feel "uncomfortable" with their gender identity as their bodies mature, she explained.
The doctor said she was "comfortable" with routinely starting cross-sex hormones at 14. In some situations, she would start patients on them a year younger, she said.
"I want to try and get them into puberty with their peers, so I may start them at 13 or so," she said.
Adkins said doctors were "shortening the time interval" between starting children on puberty blockers and beginning "gender gender-affirming hormones."
Around the country, activists are decrying these procedures, which are often described as reversible.
People trying to reverse the effects of so-called "gender-affirming care" are part of a growing cadre known as detransitioners.
Treating Young ChildrenThe 2020 video is not the first time North Carolina facilities have openly discussed treating young children for gender dysphoria.
On organization websites, in documents, and in news articles reviewed by The Epoch Times, medical schools at Duke University, the University of North Carolina (UNC), and East Carolina University (ECU) referenced providing "treatment" for toddlers and grade-school-age children with gender dysphoria.
"Dr. Deanna Adkins, director of the Duke Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care, said she has transgender patients as young as 2," the post reads.
Adkins indicated similar views in her expert testimony filed in a federal district court in North Carolina. She issued her opinion concerning a proposal to restrict the use of public bathrooms to biological sex, a measure she opposed.
In that court document, she reiterates her belief that toddlers can experience gender dysphoria.
"Most people have a gender identity that aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth," Adkins states in the court document she signed in 2020.
Proposed Ban on Child Sex ChangesRachmuth is fighting against the medical facilities' policies regarding children with gender dysphoria.
She's in favor of a proposed North Carolina bill that would ban surgery for minors and block state funds from being used on any "gender-transitioning" procedure for people under 18.
The hospital systems in North Carolina have tried to deflect scrutiny, Rachmuth said, by claiming videos and documents concerning gender procedures for children are disinformation.
It's "so they can continue sterilizing and mutilating children," she said.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Adkins and the three North Carolina medical schools, but they haven't responded to requests for comment.
Yet after information about their programs sparked backlash on social media, all three universities issued public statements indicating that they don't prescribe cross-sex hormones or provide gender-modification surgery on toddlers.
The medical organizations didn't deny that their doctors see preschoolers for gender dysphoria.
"Care decisions are made by patients, families, and their providers and are both age-appropriate and adherent to national and international guidelines," a Duke Health representative wrote in a May 4 post on Twitter.
"Hormone therapies are explicitly not provided to children prior to puberty, and gender-affirming surgeries are, except in exceedingly rare circumstances, only performed after age 18."
At Duke Child and Adolescent Gender Care Clinic, "transgender youth" can receive a broad array of treatment and education in the facility, according to the organization's website.
"We provide treatment, support, education, and counseling to transgender youth who are exploring their gender identity and gender expression, as well as their families," the website reads.
"We also treat people with gender dysphoria, which occurs when sex and gender assigned at birth do not align with a person's gender identity."