Montana couple Krista and Todd Kolstad are embroiled in a legal battle with state authorities over the custody of their teenage daughter, Jennifer, Reduxx reported Monday.
Jennifer’s self-identification as a transgender male has ignited a firestorm of controversy and alleged overreach by Child and Family Services (CFS), according to Reduxx. The ordeal, which unfolded Aug. 2023, has seen the Kolstad family accuse CFS of effectively “kidnapping” Jennifer, following a series of events triggered by her expression of suicidal thoughts at school.
The Kolstads shared the sequence of events that led to their current predicament. It began with a call from the school alerting them of Jennifer’s state, which led to an immediate intervention by CFS, Reduxx reported. Despite the family’s efforts to provide a nurturing and stable environment for Jennifer, including relocating her to a different school district to escape bullying, their world was turned upside down when a CFS caseworker arrived unannounced at their home.
A family in Montana has lost custody of their 14-year-old daughter after refusing to “affirm” her gender transition to a “boy.”
Krista and Todd Kolstad have chosen to tell their story despite a court order demanding they remain silent.https://t.co/n7P1XwzfSS
— REDUXX (@ReduxxMag) January 29, 2024
The situation escalated following Jennifer’s claim of ingesting harmful substances, a claim that was later refuted by medical tests at the local hospital. However, it was Jennifer’s desire to be recognized as “Leo,” reflecting her gender identity, that further escalated things, the outlet noted.
“We were very clear to the emergency room staff as well as [CFS] that this goes against our values, morals, and our religious beliefs,” Krista said, per Reduxx. However, the hospital refused to listen to the parents. “They told me to call their lawyer if I have an issue as they will do what the patient tells them.”
The hospital’s stance on Jennifer’s social transitioning, coupled with what the Kolstads perceive as an undermining of their parental authority, has led to a complex legal battle. “I came one day and she was talking about having top-surgery and being non-binary,” Krista says of the aide, per Reduxx. She then talked to a doctor, who also dismissed her. “He told me, ‘why are not you more concerned that your daughter is trying to harm herself, then what [the aide] is talking about?'” (RELATED:EXCLUSIVE: School Staff Appeared To Hide ‘Gender Identity’ Of Bullied Student Being Told To Commit Suicide)
Jennifer is now placed in a group home and is currently being monitored 24/7 due to her suicidal ideations. The court granted CFS custody, planning to place Jennifer with her birth mother in Canada, whom she had little contact with. The birth mother, Christine, had a history of alleged abuse, raising concerns about her fitness as a parent, according to Reduxx. Despite legal challenges and a court order for silence, Krista and Todd vowed to continue fighting for their daughter and raising awareness about their situation.