Parents of a child with gender dysphoria have lost their daughter after an Ohio judge ruled that the teen’s grandparents now have custody rights of the child.
“It is unfortunate that this case required resolution by the Court as the family would have been best served if this could have been settled within the family after all parties had ample exposure to the reality of the fact that the child truly may be gender non-conforming and has a legitimate right to pursue life with a different gender identity than the one assigned at birth,” Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon said in her ruling. She also referred to the case as “obviously a gut-wrenching situation for all of you to face.”
The ruling comes after the 17-year-old biological girl, who identifies as a boy, alleged the lack of support at home drove her to suicidal tendencies and went to live with her grandparents while sitting under the temporary legal guardianship of the Hamilton County Job and Family Services.
The teen and parents — who’ve requested to remain anonymous to protect their privacy — took their case to court after medical experts deemed her case as a possible “life-or-death situation.” The father had refused to call his daughter by her chosen name and the parents rejected her male identity, court records claim, according to CNN.
The teen was hospitalized in 2016 after she contacted a crisis chat service indicating that she felt unsafe at home with her parents and felt as if she might hurt herself badly. She was diagnosed with depression, an anxiety disorder and gender dysphoria.
“We think the grandparents are the ones who have an open mind and will … make this sort of decision best for the child,” the child’s representing attorney, Paul Hunt, said before the judge’s ruling. “The parents have clearly indicated that they’re not open to it.”
The grandparents, who have been supportive of her choice to become a male, said they are prepared to make medical decisions with the child, including to start hormone therapy, according to court documents. The parents, however, objected to any form of hormone blockers, indicating that their daughter isn’t ready to make such a life-changing decision and should wait until she is at least 18 years old.
Unless the parents decide to appeal the ruling, the teen will remain under her grandparents’ custody from here on out.
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