Living with a transgender foster child

This is a guest post from the mother of a transgender foster child, detailing her experience with doctors, therapists and social services as she tries to protect the child in her care.

We have written before about the role of social services, in two cases heard at the Family Court (here and here). Barrister Sarah Phillimore also wrote a guest post for us comparing the two cases from her professional standpoint. We are concerned that the crucial role of social workers in the safeguarding and protection of the most vulnerable children is being undermined by policies of blanket ‘affirmation’ of children who identify as, or are presumed to be, ‘transgender.’

We will write our analysis of the training materials produced for the social work profession in a future post, as the following account deserves to stand alone. We have barely edited it as the words of this mother are so powerful in her own voice. We are very grateful to her for contacting us and for writing this account for us.

Living with a transgender foster child

I’ve had the child for over a year now but knew her before she come to live with me as its a private foster. Her mum was separated from the father and her mum was a alcoholic who she lived with at the time.

Her mum had no thought for the child’s well being only where her next drink was coming from. I felt the child was more of the parent than her mum was, she was the one at 7 years old who made sure that the mum got home safe from the pub they was never any food or gas or electric.

She was bullied at school because of her clothing being too small. She didn’t know that you have to wash and brush your teeth every morning and have a bath they was no hugs or love shown to the child from the mother.

In the end when mum beat her and she rung child line she was taken by social services to live with her dad. This lasted just a year but in that time even though what the mum had done i know that this broke the childs heart and felt so much guilt for ringing child line and not being there to help her mum and worried all the time.

In that year at her dads she started self harming and having suicidal thoughts she wasn’t transgender at this point i put it down to being taken from her mother suffering from anxiety and guilt as you can see the child had emotional trauma now you know about some of the childs issues.

When she went up to big school last year they was another girl that was transgender at 1st she said she didn’t have anything to do with her but now it’s come out she did use to talk to her i really don’t know if this girl put the seed there about transgender but this is when it all started she 1st come out as lesbian and this followed. 

The child had not ever been told what to do and started playing up for her dad and he was putting her in care so i decided that i would take her. I’m shocked as her carer how easy it is to say your transgender as soon as them 2 words come out of that childs mouth you are definitely transgender.

In the last year I’ve been to doctor’s where she told them she was transgender they was no question on why she thought this just accepted it straight away and referred to camhs the waiting was a couple of months but sat in waiting area she was called in by the boys name she had told doctor. They made me feel like the worst I’ve ever felt as a parent because i didn’t agree to calling her the name she wanted and the worse part was telling me that if i didn’t she could possibly commit suicide.

I’d already done a lot of research on transgender that its mostly the ones who transitioned are more likely to do that. When I’ve said this the psychiatrist said but how do we know that but how do they know that’s the reason with the others. I kept telling them that the child was self harming and suicidal thoughts before transgender was even thought of by her they still didn’t listen or even ask her why she was self harming at that time all these meetings have all been about transgender.

I told them id taken her abroad the year before and she buying flower headbands for her hair reply was she was doing it to make us feel better but how when she wasn’t even having any transgender issues.

I told them I’d bought her lipstick reply again boys wear lipstick i couldn’t win no matter what I said but I’m a person that will not back down and say it how it is. I’ve argued with them as i don’t feel they helping the child with her mental issues only the transgender part of it all.

We have had 5 sessions with camhs and again blackmailing me saying if we let her go to transgender clinic in leeds she will get camhs till she’s 18 as we’ve only got 1 session left. Why do they want these children to go to clinic so quickly I’m not happy with any of the authorities that’s been involved in the last year even social services telling me I’ve got to call her the name she wants to be called. Bringing me phone numbers to contact mermaids.

Transgender youth club  that she does go to which i want to stop her from going but then I feel I’ll be in trouble by social services. I feel now that this is where they brainwashing our children and the internet.

I will not sit and let these people let my 13 year old foster child go to this gender clinic till she is old enough to decide herself as i feel that authorities are deciding for her a child can’t drink alcohol till they 18 or even smoke but can decide to change sex at a early age.

To other parents who have a transgender foster child in there care don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel and how it is don’t let them make you feel guilty do your research and put it to them this is when they start getting aggressive towards you.

I will argue with these people till the child is old enough to make her own decisions but hopefully if i can get her away from it all camhs social services and these transgender youth clubs i might have a chance to let her see what they doing to her. As you can see from her childhood she was a vulnerable little girl who just wanted to be loved and just a bit of attention that she is getting but the wrong attention by the people who supposed to care.

Like i said at beginning I’ve known this little girl 7 years and was a proper girlie girl until she was taken away. I really think she thinks that if she changes her sex her past and childhood will be dissolved. This child needs help not kept telling she’s transgender and send her to the clinic. Stand up for your child. 

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Bre

    I’m in the United States. I feel like my story is so identical to yours (self harm,, anxiety, depression, ADD, drug abuse, angry). Only this is my biological child. But my child had a lot of traumas —her therapist described as “multiple layers of trauma”. Some people call it childhood PTSD or complex PTSD. My child was bullied a lot since first grade and she has mild cerebral palsy, her dad was an alcoholic he stop drinking but there was years of neglect. There was a lot of family members who died, and the biggest and worst thing was she was sexually assaulted by two different boys on two different occasions because she got in the wrong crowd trying to find friends. My daughter was just like what you said about your foster child, she just wanted to be excepted and loved. It seem like the transgenders were the only one who was going to do Give her the clique of friends and the support group that she so badly wanted. But I know my child has a mental illness and the only thing the doctors want to do is support her transitioning and put her on hormones My child is almost 18 and I’m very worried for her I’ve kept her safe so far I even think she may be questioning changing into a man. And the only way I got her to come to her senses was sending her away for treatment in the wilderness program for 4 months where she was totally unplugged from the Internet and all her bad influences. You’re so right about brainwashing. Keep on fighting for her. You know there’s more and more information coming out about young people regretting their change and wanting to change back. If there’s anyway you can get her into a treatment program that is outdoorsy that might help I know sometimes people have to send their kids out of the country. But she definitely needs some deep trauma work.

  2. Bex

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that your foster daughter has someone who will stand up for her and defy the nonsense and propaganda around trans. My daughter has been going through a very similar situation – no trauma or abuse but has Aspergers and never thought once about being trans until making friends with other kids who were thinking that way at 14 years old. Suddenly she’s being referred to CAMHS (by the school – perfectly ok at home but acting up at school)and they didn’t ask any questions as to why she thought she was trans – told me 20 minutes after meeting her that I would ‘just have to get on board’. I know my child better than any health ‘professional’ and I know she is NOT trans. Keep fighting them and protecting your girl.

  3. Elisabeth Brook

    What a sad commentary on society. This child is desperate for help and attention and those in charge are ignoring her needs. I hope the child makes it out of this alive.

  4. Richard Billings

    You can feel the helpless reaching out of this woman. Very disturbing societal trending. Richard

  5. Janey Galloway

    How utterly heartbreaking. Since this ideology has caught hold of statutory services, it’s as though everything we know about safeguarding child psychology has been erased from our collective memories. Thank you to this brave woman for her strength and integrity in questioning CAMHS analysis of this young girl’s needs,

  6. charles lewis

    Heart-breaking, how vicious the transgender doctrine is and how appalling the acceptance it is given by so many doctors, social workers, clinics etc. Best of luck to this thoroughly decent and sensible lady.

  7. Richard Billings

    Thank you. There’s a lot of deep need in the world that people are finding very difficult to address.

  8. Sarah Read

    I feel so very moved by this woman’s bravery! She has written such a powerful account of her experience of safeguarding her foster child in the abusive context of this crazy world. She is upholding the reality principle which so often is catastrophically denied by those who profess to be professional. How wholesome and encouraging her testimony is! How fortunate is her foster-daughter!

  9. Fiona Diamond

    This resonates with me, I have been supported by social workers in the more cautious approach to this issue . However I still feel it’s still scary when there are other influences such as the youth clubs and mermaids as well as social media all pushing their own agenda to the long term detriment of our kids.


    This madness will likely carry on for some years until the lawsuits start coming in as adults start to realise that they are sterile, are unable to experience normal sexual function, and have been surgically mutilated. All at an age where they were completely unable to comprehend what was being done to them or give proper informed consent.

  11. Megan

    This lady has such courage. I hope she keeps up the fight to protect her child from these professionals who lack the one qualification really needed: common sense.

  12. Bangoutoforder

    I am in this situation. Very similar background. I think social workers and Camhs steered us away from support for these issues, knowing that affirmation was not in her interests?which felt scary at the time but worked out. I knew that binders and blockers and pronouns would cause further damage to this child, and after much soul searching decided I would not go along with it, even if it meant she was taken from our care. It didn’t come to a confrontation, she seemed to give herself permission to stop and she is so much happier since she did.

  13. A different point of view.

    I work with trans young people up to the age of 25. Every one of them talks about how they knew from a very early age (6-7) and those who were affirmed by a family around them with love and care from an early age have grown to live healthy lives and are grateful to the wonderful caregivers around them who supported them. The ones that told their parents/caregivers and were denied affirmation still were trans by the the time they were adults, just they tended to have much more baggage, trauma and thoughts of suicide along the way.

    Deny a trans young person their identity and you won’t ever stop them being trans – you’ll just hurt the ones you’re supposed to be caring about. I’m sure this will probably be deleted, but it’s honest lived experience, listening to the young person (which is how all youth work works when it works well)

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