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.
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Frightening development which will contribute in spades to the madness of transgendering children! I feel for the adoptive parents and for the child misled by medical and legal authorities.
This judgement should be challenged in the Supreme Court and then (if necessary, and I fear it will be necessary) in the European Court of Human Rights. There are competing human rights. The parents must, I would suppose, have some remaining legal rights over their child, in particular to care for her developing mental capacities, including whether she can appreciate fully at the young age of 16 the consequences of medical treatment for a psychiatric problem. There is no obvious source of funding for a putative challenge by the parents…. Crowdfunding?
Thanks, we will be seeking legal advice re the child’s ability to give informed consent to “gender reassignment” treatment (see atranswidow’s comment below). This is probably the area most open to legal challenge.
This case has angered, saddened and worried me tremendously. What you say above is absolutely true……..
”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.”
I am not a lawyer, nor legally trained but I do know that the law doesn’t work around uncertainties. Here the law has been followed and the judge has cited carefully all the cases that he took into consideration as set out in the judgement. The case however, wasn’t about the competence of the child to make medical decisions as the child has reached the magical legal age of 16, as set out in paragraph 20 of the judgement. The adoptive parents merely wanted to have updates about the child that they had adopted at 3 monthly intervals.
I do think that with better legal advice earlier in the case the parents could have challenged the child’s rights under Article 8 and asked whether the ”young person concerned understands the advice provided by the medical professionals and its implications.” By this time the child was in hospital following a suicide attempt, and no doubt they were more concerned with the child’s physical and emotional welfare than with the law. Once the Local Authority became involved then the parent’s position became tenuous.
It further concerns me that this may not be the only case of it’s kind. The Trans Inquiry is recommending the lowering of the age at which a person can legally change gender markers to 16 and that this can be on the basis of self-determination. Children are being exposed to ”gender education” as with this video produced with the backing of the Department of Education……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlYtj0sf6ec as well as to all that they read on tumblr etc.
Lawyers are urgently needed to add support to the trans skeptical and questioning medical professionals.
Thanks for your always thoughtful and useful comments, and for sending us stuff we otherwise might have missed. This video is appalling.
The American College of Pediatricians has added to their statement of 21st March 2016 on “gender ideology”: http://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/gender-ideology-harms-children two clarifications (regarding points 3 and 5 ) and a summary as follows:
The bottom line: Our opponents advocate a new scientifically baseless standard of care for children with a psychological condition (GD) that would otherwise resolve after puberty for the vast majority of patients concerned. Specifically, they advise: affirmation of children’s thoughts which are contrary to physical reality; the chemical castration of these children prior to puberty with GnRH agonists (puberty blockers which cause infertility, stunted growth, low bone density, and an unknown impact upon their brain development), and, finally, the permanent sterilization of these children prior to age 18 via cross-sex hormones. There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging young GD children to impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. If a boy who questions whether or not he is a boy (who is meant to grow into a man) is treated as a girl, then has his natural pubertal progression to manhood suppressed, have we not set in motion an inevitable outcome? All of his same sex peers develop into young men, his opposite sex friends develop into young women, but he remains a pre-pubertal boy. He will be left psychosocially isolated and alone. He will be left with the psychological impression that something is wrong. He will be less able to identify with his same sex peers and being male, and thus be more likely to self identify as “non-male” or female. Moreover, neuroscience reveals that the pre-frontal cortex of the brain which is responsible for judgment and risk assessment is not mature until the mid-twenties. Never has it been more scientifically clear that children and adolescents are incapable of making informed decisions regarding permanent, irreversible and life-altering medical interventions. For this reason, the College maintains it is abusive to promote this ideology, first and foremost for the well-being of the gender dysphoric children themselves, and secondly, for all of their non-gender-discordant peers, many of whom will subsequently question their own gender identity, and face violations of their right to bodily privacy and safety.
This is punchy stuff!
I’ve just looked at the website of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health , and specifically at their child mental health guidelines (http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/child-health/standards-care/clinical-guidelines-and-standards/endorsed-and-supported/child-mental-he – This is the correct address). There is nothing about treating gender dysphoria in children.
Was the RCPCH asked to give evidence to the Transgender Equality enquiry which reported in December 2015? Of course the leading psychiatrists from Tavistock Clinic gave evidence, but did a paediatrician give evidence? I don’t recognise all the names at the end of the report (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmselect/cmwomeq/390/390.pdf) Perhaps one of the contributors here can help?
Thanks for the video should go to Gallus Mag at Gendertrender…….https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/redraw-the-balance/#comment-68323
I’m glad that you will be taking legal advice. Even if nothing changes in relation to this case, legal clarification about how a child (or indeed anyone) can make informed consent in relation to so many unknowns is important.
This is what is coming in the United States. People are Clueless. Everyone’s talking about the “Bathroom Issue” when Obama & the Dept of Education just threatened to remove funding for the schools that don’t comply. His “emerging practices” document spell out how a kid can choose to exclude parents.
check out the details:
Very frightening. Another form of reparative therapy even if self induced. Better to be a boy/male with possible male privileges than Lesbian with none, EVEN with approving parents(wish mine were when I came out, and afterwards). To throw away the parents and NOT EVEN to allow quarterly reports? To me thats too much interference from the State, at the child’s whims.