- Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon gave the grandparents custody of a transgender teenager and the right to make medical decisions on his behalf for his transition.
- A county prosecuting lawyer said that the parents didn’t want him to undergo treatment as it went against their religious beliefs.
- Judge Hendon also called on legislators of the state of Ohio to establish legal framework that would assist courts in evaluating the right to gender therapy.
A transgender boy in Hamilton County, Ohio won court victory over the right to live away from his parents who refused to recognize his gender identity and instead will reside with his grandparents to pursue transition.
According to transgender news stories by CNN posted on February 17, the judge gave the grandparents custody of a transgender teenager and the right to make medical decisions on his behalf, particularly with pursuing medical care in transitioning from female to male.
Last month, Donald Clancy of the Department of Jobs and Family Services said that the parents no longer wish to look after the transgender child.
“The parents in this case do not desire to parent their child,” Clancy said. “They merely have a desire to parent a child who, in reality, no longer exists.”
According to court testimony, parents denied their child to avail hormone therapy and refused to use his chosen name, a situation that prompted thoughts to commit suicide. They wanted to retain their custody in order to continue making decisions regarding his medical care and disallow the recommendation of the medical team for treatment.
The presiding judge, Sylvia Sieve Hendon, said the identity of the family will not be released.
The court further ordered that the grandparents, aside from being awarded custody, were granted the right to change the child’s name in court.
The decision would also, in effect, allow the transgender boy to be covered under his grandparents’ insurance policy.
In addition, the grandparents can now make decisions regarding treatment for the transgender boy moving forward. However, before any such treatment to start, the court required that a psychologist not associated with the current facility that the child receives treatment from to evaluate the child on terms of consistency in gender presentation and feelings of non-conformity.
The child has been receiving care from a team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center since 2016. The team advised the court to allow him to start treatment immediately in order minimize the chances of committing suicide.
The parents’ legal representative, however, said that the child’s state was such that he was not yet ready to make life-changing decisions.
Religious beliefs and legislations
Additionally, a county prosecuting lawyer said that the parents didn’t want him to undergo treatment as it went against their religious beliefs.
Hendon ruled that the parents will have visitation rights and were encouraged to work to reintegrate the child in the extended family.
Furthermore, she called on the legislators in the state of Ohio to establish legal framework that would help the courts in assessing the right to gender therapy.
“What is clear from the testimony presented in this case and the increasing worldwide interest in transgender care is that there is certainly a reasonable expectation that circumstances similar to the one at bar are likely to repeat themselves,” she said. “That type of legislation would give a voice and a pathway to youth similarly situated as (the teen) without attributing fault to the parents and involving them in protracted litigation which can and does destroy a family unit.