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Education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.

Gender-variant, gender-questioning and transgender children

Gender Pathway Services at Children's Mercy provides interdisciplinary, family-centered services for transgender, gender-variant, and gender-questioning children. Our services support the physical, mental and social health of young people and their families as they navigate the process of gender identity development. 

As specialists in pediatric and adolescent development, we recognize that each person has a different "pathway," so we provide care that is unique to each family. Our goal is to keep families informed of their treatment options, providing them with medical and emotional support, advocacy, and community resources. 

Our team of pediatric specialists cares for people with any gender variance. Our specialists  work together to provide evidence-based care that is informed by the Clinical Practice Guidelines established by the Endocrine Society and Standards of Care proposed by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH).

Gender identity

People who come to our clinic to usually fall within one or more of the following groups:

  • Gender non-conforming youth: Children and adolescents who exhibit behavior that is not typical of their assigned birth sex.

  • Gender questioning youth: Children and adolescents who are questioning their gender identities (e.g., “I was born a girl, but I wonder if I’m really a boy?”).

  • Transgender and gender-fluid youth: Children and adolescents who identify as a gender identity different from their assigned birth sex (e.g., “I was born a girl, but I am really a boy.”).

What to expect

Our experienced social work team is one of the first points of contact at the Gender Pathway Services clinic. Our social workers provide support and advocacy for young people and their families, as well as consultation and education for community partners, local school systems and other allies.

A Gender Pathway Services psychologist is available to provide a diagnostic evaluation and to make treatment recommendations. Gender Pathway Services patients are seen at least once a year by the multi-disciplinary treatment team, which includes professionals from social work, psychology, adolescent medicine, endocrinology and chaplaincy and hearing and speech, if needed. Ongoing mental health support is generally provided in the community, but psychologists are available to consult with community therapists as needed.

An endocrinologist will recommend blood work to look for biologic changes that may contribute to feelings of transgender and treat those if needed. They are also available to discuss puberty-blocking and cross-sex hormones at appropriate ages, monitor their effects, and help guide patients who desire gender confirmation surgery to appropriate surgeons. 

Your appointment

If you need to cancel your GPS appointment please call (816) 960-8803. We appreciate you calling in advance if you need to cancel, so we can try to keep our waiting list for GPS appointments as short as possible. Thank you for your help and consideration.  


Changing lives with Gender Pathway Services: Alex’s story

17-year-old Alex knew something was different from about the age of 3. But it wasn’t until mom reached out to Children’s Mercy did this struggling child get answers, help and a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, which would set Alex on the path to becoming a happy, healthy transgender male.

Recognized Leader in LGBTQ Care

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation recognized Children's Mercy as a "Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality" based on our top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate our commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBTQ patients and their families.