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Adults who try to persuade children to change their gender will face criminal sanctions under government plans.
From next spring it will be illegal to convince someone to change their sexuality or gender identity, with extra safeguards to protect adolescents.
Government sources suggested that individuals working for organisations such as Mermaids, a charity that offers advice and counselling to children with gender dysphoria, could face criminal sanctions if they were found guilty of encouraging under 18s to change gender.
Under the proposals, medical professionals such as psychiatrists and doctors will escape sanctions. Informal advice sought from family and friends will also not be criminalised. However, all other counselling offered to children under 18 will be outlawed and adults will have to consent to take part in therapy. The laws will be introduced after a consultation.