An Ohio family is facing losing custody of their 17-year-old daughter who claims to identify as a boy. Due to legal restrictions, the family cannot be named, but their teenager was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2016. Her parents sought help but refused to allow her to begin hormone therapy or recognize her transition to living as a male.
*Gender dysphoria is a psychiatric diagnosis the American Psychiatric Association defines as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.”
The Blaze reports the teenager is seeking to be released to her grandparents to complete her transition.
The teen is in the temporary legal custody of Hamilton County Job and Family Services and lives with his [her] maternal grandparents, who want custody and are supportive of the teen’s gender identity. He [she] wants to stay with them.The teen’s court-appointed guardian believes that the grandparents, not the parents, should have custody and says they are best suited to help the child.
The parents are supportive of their child moving in with the grandparents, but are still uncomfortable allowing her to undergo major surgery and take drugs that could damage her body in the future.
Naturally, outlets like CNN are spinning this as a situation that is only being made worse by the parents’ refusal to acquiece to a scarcely researched and quite modern phenomenon.
The teen’s lawyer, Thomas Mellott, said his parents had him enrolled at a Catholic school where he was made to wear dresses and answer to his birth name.
“It caused additional trauma and anxiety,” Mellott said. “When you lack all hope, and when he thought this would all continue to happen to him, the suicidal ideation became more pronounced, and that is how he ended up where he was.”
The grandparents’ attorney, Jeffrey Cutcher, told the court he would also like the grandparents to help the child legally change his name, as even seeing his birth name on documents has caused trauma.
“The name has become a very big trigger,” Mellott said. “It has gotten to the point where my client mentioned that he doesn’t want to think about college at this point because the marketing materials he’s getting keep using the birth name.
The Christian Post spoke to Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians in an interview with The Christian Post Wednesday about the case. Cretella contends that this case is driven by activists and could have dark consequences for every parent moving forward.
“If the judge rules in favor of the ideologically driven gender clinic, the ability of all parents to protect their children of any age from all aspects of this social and medical experiment will take a tremendous hit.”
“A child suffering from gender dysphoria has a fixed belief contrary to physical reality. This is a delusion,” she said, and “a delusion is not any person’s ‘authentic self.”
Furthermore, she stressed, “there is no evidence that any gender dysphoric child’s suicidality is due to parents’ refusing to go along with the delusion. It is more likely that whatever has caused the child’s depression and suicidal thoughts is also triggering the gender dysphoria.”
“Since there are no long term studies regarding the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in young children and teens, this entire enterprise is, by definition, an experiment upon a minor — and a dangerous one at that given the life-long permanent side effects.”
If viewing one’s name on mailers brings about anxiety and suicidal thoughts, perhaps the problem is much deeper than simply seeing oneself as the opposite gender. A 17-year-old child who hasn’t enough maturity to simply wait until her 18th birthday to be able to make her own decisions about her body is most certainly not the picture of mental health.
Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council says that no child should be making enormous, irreversible life decisions at a stressful time in their lives.
[Sprigg] commented in an email to The Christian Post Wednesday that refusing to support gender transition for a minor child should never be grounds for removing that child from a parent’s custody and represents a “shocking invasion of fundamental parental rights to direct the upbringing of their children.”
“The threat of suicide by the child should be taken as evidence of a major mental health crisis requiring psychological intervention, and as a warning against making other major life changes at this time, not in favor of it,” he said.
That the religious views of the parents are being referenced as a further reason why custody should be removed is alarming, he went on to say, noting that this case portends threats to religious freedom in addition to parental rights.
“In recent years, the free exercise of religion outside the walls of a home or church has been repeatedly threatened; but in this case, even such freedom within the home is at risk.”
An Ohio judge is set to make a ruling on Friday.