Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Grandparents Awarded Custody of Trans Teen Over the Religious Objections of His Parents

I received an article earlier today sending me to this article from the Conservative Free Press about a set of parents who've lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter to the State of Ohio. Apparently, they opposed their daughter's gender transition process, which includes hormone therapy. The state, according to the article, stepped into the situation and placed the teen with her grandparents, who have said that they will support the teen's gender transition. The story seemed over the top, so I began digging and discovered more about this situation from a less biased news source.

It turns out that the FTM teen has been struggling with severe mental health symptoms for a while. He was hospitalized back in 2016 due to suicidal risk. He was diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, and gender dysphoria. In November 2016, the teen contacted a crisis chat service and reported that he felt unsafe in his family home. He reported that his "father told him to kill himself, because he was 'going to hell anyway.'" The parents reportedly withdrew him from his mental health services and enrolled him with Christian therapy instead. He was also reportedly forced to sit in a room and listen to Bible readings for hours at a time.

The teen's parents have denied these accusation, but have objected to medical treatment that supports the teen's need for gender transition, particularly hormone therapy. They've refused to call him by his new name or by male pronouns, and they enrolled him in Catholic school where he was made to wear dresses. The parents also support their teen not returning home because they believe he would "warp" his siblings. They just don't want him to continue with gender transitioning, at least not until he turn 18 -- which would be in a few months, so I really don't get the big deal. If he's going to do it and if he's suicidal when forced to live as a girl, why quibble over a few months??

Somehow, presumably because of his unmet mental health needs, the teen was placed in the temporary legal custody of the Hamilton County Job and Family Services. He now lives with his maternal grandparents, who want custody and who support the teens gender identity and transition. they plan to support the teen's ongoing gender transition, including hormone therapy and his legal name change and gender recognition.

So once again, everyone wants the 17-year-old teen to continue living with the maternal grandparents. Nobody wants him to move back home with his parents and siblings. The only difference is that the parents are fighting for custody so that they can legally prevent their teen from continuing the gender transition process for a few more months until he becomes 18.

The judge ultimately awarded full custody of the teen to his maternal grandparents. He can now be placed on their health insurance plan and move forward with his gender transition. Meanwhile, the teen will maintain a visitation schedule with his parents in hopes that they can rebuild their relationship.

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