Gender Management Service (GeMS) Clinic
The Gender Management Service Clinic (GeMS) at Boston Children’s Hospital believes that all children deserve to grow into confident and happy individuals who are able to take their rightful place in society. We specialize in providing comprehensive care to the unique group of children and adolescents who believe themselves to be transgendered.
Our team works closely with specialists in other departments in the hospital, such as urology, endocrinology, psychology, social work and gynecology, to develop individual care plans that meet every child's medical and emotional needs, as well as their family's need for information and support.
The first step in this process involves meeting with our clinical social worker to talk more about your child’s specific gender issue in more detail. Our clinical social worker will make sure that you fully understand our protocol and assist you with referrals and resources.
Your child will be referred to a therapist in your community who is familiar with gender issues in youth. It is a requirement of GeMS that your child be in therapy for at least 6 months before proceeding with our evaluation.
The next step is consultation at Boston Children’s about your child’s specific mental health needs and gender variance. Your child will meet with our psychologist for specialized gender-related testing. The results from these evaluations will allow the rest of the medical to team to gain a full understanding of your child’s situation and any related concerns.
- Once we determine that your child meets the necessary mental health criteria, she or he will be scheduled for an extended visit in our monthly clinic where you will join her or him in meeting with a physician and a member of our mental health team to discuss medical treatment options.
Disorders of sexual differentiation (DSDs)
In the past, many doctors treated DSDs as a medical emergency and immediate decisions about treatment were often made without consulting a child's family. Medical treatment of DSDs has changed dramatically, thanks to heightened sensitivity to and understanding about gender issues throughout the developmental stages of children and young adults.
At the GeMS Clinic, we believe that gender assignment is a decision-making process that should be done in partnership between you and our team of health care providers.
We also emphasize our belief that there’s no reason to rush into a medical or surgical decision for your child. Our physicians and clinical social worker will be available to you and your family to help you review the options in a thoughtful and comprehensive way without unnecessary pressure.
Children with DSDs are seen in the monthly GeMS Clinic by our medical and mental health teams.
The GeMS Clinic: In the news
Nicole Maines, here with her twin brother Jonas, received puberty-suppressing medication at the GeMS Clinic after being diagnosed with transgenderism. In this Boston Globe article, the Maines family talks about their experience at Children’s and how Dr. Norman Spack helped Nicole affirm the gender she always identified with.