A court has ruled that a transgender teen can cut all contact with her adoptive parents, to the extent that they are no longer entitled to be notified even in the case of their child’s need for emergency medical treatment. The reason for this ruling is that the parents struggled to come to terms with their sixteen-year-old daughter’s decision to transition and would not refer to her by her new boy’s name, causing their daughter such distress she no longer wants them in her life at all.
The child in this case is currently in foster care so the local authority would normally be obliged to consult with and give information to parents: this would be the case for any parents of a child who left home at age sixteen and was subsequently housed in a care home or foster home.
The parents initially opposed the application for no contact, but now accept that they should not receive any information about their daughter’s medical assessment and/or treatment. What they did ask the court to consider is to be informed through quarterly updates on their daughter’s life and welfare, but this has been rejected by the judge’s ruling. The parents live in the hope that a reconciliation with their daughter will be effected in the future and they have expressed a willingness to engage with and seek support from the Tavistock clinic throughout.
The facts of the case give us something of a picture of the circumstances and path towards transition of this child who was referred to the Tavistock clinic with “gender dysphoria” last year. As a child adopted at age six, and having taken two overdoses in the past two years, she fits the profile of both of the two over-represented groups of children whose numbers continue to increase at gender clinics: kids from troubled backgrounds and teenage girls. The combination of those two factors represents an increased vulnerability and susceptibility to the simple solution to problems offered by transgender doctrine and a significantly increased likelihood of ending up at a gender clinic.
To adopt a child at age six, rather than as a baby, also tells us something about the adoptive parents. Adoption agencies know that the older the child, the more difficult it is to find adoptive parents, as the child already has a background which may result in troubled and challenging behaviour. Parents who adopt a child at this age, when she has already had so many formative influences, are less likely to be under the illusion that they have the power to shape her in their own image. There is also no indication in this case that these parents hold any strong religious beliefs, so we can assume they hold no faith-based discriminatory attitude towards transgender people. Their daughter came out as a lesbian to them at age twelve, which suggests a trust and closeness in the relationship, and there is no suggestion that the parents were anything other than accepting of their daughter’s sexual orientation.
So as far as the facts can tell us, these appear to be ordinary caring parents and although some may not agree with their approach, they are perhaps the only people in their daughter’s life whose reaction is based on reality. When everyone around this girl is affirming her as a boy, the parents may be the only people holding up a mirror to her which reflects her back as a girl.
Any parent who understands biology and knows that an ideology does not replace material reality, is faced with a painful dilemma when a child declares that they are the opposite sex: whether to indulge the illusion knowing that this will encourage their child towards transition and medicalisation for life, or to challenge it and risk alienating the child. When the judge himself concurs that ‘she’ is really a ‘he,’ it is clear that this ethical issue has not been recognised in the deliberations leading to the final judgment. There is no recognition of the parents’ unique understanding of their own child and no consideration of any possible alternative reality, such as the common scenario of a troubled, confused lesbian teenager immersing herself in online trans forums and discovering that to be trans is far more acceptable than being a lesbian. The merits of the case have been judged only within a framework of transgender ideology as truth.
There are two aspects of this case which demand scrutiny: the first on a point of law which the judge drew on from previous cases, summed up in the judgment report:
“As a matter of principle it is difficult to see why a parent should still retain an Article 8 right to parental authority relating to a medical decision where the young person concerned understands the advice provided by the medical professionals and its implications.”
And further, that a sixteen-year-old:
“has sufficient understanding of what is involved to give a consent valid in law”
The legal right of children to make decisions concerning their own medical treatment is a principle of both autonomy and protection (from parents with religious beliefs which prevent necessary treatment, for example), but how far can this principle extend to medically unnecessary invasive treatments on healthy bodies, based on a diagnosis for which there is no reliable scientific basis and no established diagnostic criteria? How can a sixteen-year-old make an informed decision about treatment so new that even the professionals cannot give adequate information about outcomes? This is an area for which there exists no clinical research into long-term health effects of treatments which are nevertheless profoundly life-altering and carry well-known serious risks and side-effects. There is no evidence even that “gender reassignment” works as a treatment, in fact the only available long-term study suggests that it doesn’t. How can a sixteen-year-old girl have “sufficient understanding” that she is signing away her fertility for the sake of treatment which she may later regret when she reaches full maturity, but which will have irreversible effects on her body? How easy should it be for a child to agree to her own sterilisation, the inevitable result of the “gender reassignment” route?
The second question in this case is how much does the judiciary know of these facts, and how aware are they of the online and media social indoctrination of young people into the adoption of a trans identity? This child’s level of anger and distress is in itself symptomatic of both an entitlement to unquestioning affirmation of gender identity, and a hostility towards parents who don’t comply, an attitude which is fostered and encouraged by both transgender support groups and online transgender forums. The child’s behaviour is only an extension of the tactics of the transgender lobby itself.
Without knowledge of all these facts, it is reasonable for the judge to assume that the parents were merely being obstructive and unsupportive out of ignorance or a lack of understanding (in the same way as a parent who struggled to come to terms with a child’s sexual orientation for example) and the judgment would make some sense. Only once all the facts are known can the parents’ response be understood as an attempt to protect a vulnerable child, and an informed judgment made about whether conceding the wishes of the child completely is really in her best interests.
The message sent to the child by this judgment is a reinforcement (by a High Court judge no less) of all the messages she will have received from the trans lobby: she is really a boy and her parents have simply refused to accept the truth. It also validates her entitlement to be believed and accepted as a boy, as well as her rejection of the parents who don’t believe it as a reasonable and understandable reaction.
The message to parents is also very clear: that affirmation of a child’s gender identity (or in plain language: agreeing that your child is now the opposite sex) is judged in law to be not only the caring response, but the normal and expected one. If you fail to do this, and you find yourself in the heartbreaking position of the parents in this case, the High Court will rule against you. The outcome of this case not only sets a very worrying precedent for parents in the UK, but also indicates just how far transgender ideology, in a very short time and with no public debate, has become an established truth in this country.