Creating a Safe Folder
To best protect your youth and family, we recommend that you assemble all essential documents pertaining to your child in a binder or folder that you keep on-hand in case anything arises. This folder is meant to provide readers with everything they need to know to understand your child’s good health, your parenting, and your child’s gender expression.
Of course, we hope that you will never need to rely on documents to show that you are a wonderful parent and your child is living authentically. But in the unfortunate event that those who are particularly intolerant will challenge your parenting abilities or threaten the safety of your family, this is always a helpful binder or folder to have nearby.
What should go into my safe folder?
- Letter from your medical provider confirming your child’s gender identity.
- A letter from your child’s therapist or counselor confirming your child’s gender identity and your family structure.
- A letter from any other healthcare professionals your child is involved with to confirm their gender identity.
- Letters from friends, family, religious leaders, or school staff supporting your parenting abilities and confirming your child’s gender identity. (This letter should include how long they’ve known you and their contact information.)
- Drawings or writings from your child that display their gender identity and their relationship to you (i.e. Mothers’ Day Cards, etc)
- Photos that document your child’s transition through the years (Be sure to always backup the photos you take on your phone or post to social media)
- Legal documents (copies of birth certificates, passports, social security cards, and name change documents)
- Medical documents (vaccination records)
- Documents highlighting your child’s accomplishments (report cards, medals/awards, parent/teacher conference notes)
Tips & Tricks:
- Keep two copies of your Safe Folder. One for your home and the other in a safe place away from home in the event of fire, floods, etc. Both copies should be updated with new items!
- Update your Safe Folder as frequently or as infrequently as needed.
- When your child reaches adulthood, pass the folder onto them.
This resource was shaped and informed by TransYouth Family Allies “Create a Safe Folder” page, parent advocate of a trans youth Amber Briggle, and “Going Public: Is Public Advocacy Right for You and Your Family?” (A Resource by GLAAD, HRC, NCTE, and PFLAG).