Parents across the country are increasingly losing custody of their children for refusing to accept that the latter are transitioning to a different gender.
Federal government establishment of this process is in legislation championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The Equality Act, HR 5, would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections for discrimination based on sex, sexual identity and gender orientation. The bill passed through the U.S. House of Representatives but is unlikely to get through the current Senate.
A federal law on the subject would make it easier for governments to remove children from parental custody in order to enable them to pursue gender transition. The Equality Act mirrors laws already enacted in places like California and New Jersey providing avenues to sue doctors and hospitals for refusing to perform gender reassignment surgeries, The Western Journal reports.
“It would turn anti-discrimination law—which was meant to protect disenfranchised minority groups—into a coercive sword to threaten doctors into submission to transgender ideology,” writes Emily Kao for The Western Journal.
The medical community will be forced to be more accommodating of gender reassignment treatments, to protect themselves from extensive and costly litigation. Parents may lose the right to make medical decisions for their children.
“Politicizing the medical treatment of gender dysphoria could lead to more prosecutions against parents who refuse to aid in the sterilization of their children,” Kao writes. “As more doctors recommend that children take puberty blockers at age 11, cross-sex hormones at 16, and undergo ‘sex-reassignment’ surgeries at 18, parents who resist could face charges of child abuse and lose custody of their children.”
Several parents have already faced the nightmare of losing custody of their own children as the leftist gender ideology permeates public schools and popular culture.
A Chicago mother, Jeanette Cooper, was denied custody of her child in 2019 when she rejected the idea that her 12-year old daughter, Sophia, is transgender, Breitbart reports.
Sophia’s father requested that he become the sole parent with decision-making authority, barring Cooper from even communicating with the child unless the father and a court-ordered representative agreed to it, The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) reports.
The court permitted Sophia to remain in the care of her father and stepmother, mandating minimal contact with her mother.
The child had reported her mother made her feel “unsafe.”
While barred from time with her daughter, Cooper was subjected to a seven-month investigation, including psychological testing, home visits, and interviews, the IWF reports.
“They want me to have a certain understanding that there is such a thing as a child who is born transgender, and this is who they are,” Cooper told the reporter. “I do not believe that to be true. I will not lie to the court. I will not state otherwise. I believe too strongly in my oath to tell the truth. My child is a girl, and I won’t lie to her or anyone else. I think that’s good parenting.”
The mother continues her fight to regain custody of Sophia as the child approaches her 16th birthday.
In 2019, a father landed in court when he attempted to stop one of his seven-year old twin boys from becoming a girl, the New York Post reported at the time.
The father was forced into court by his former wife, a pediatrician, who said she believed one of her sons was a girl. The mother filed a lawsuit to restrict access to the children and require the father to refer to the child, James, as “Luna.” The father filed for sole custody in response.
In court, witnesses reported James always went by “James” when he was with his father, and he chose boys’ clothes, even when girls’ clothes were an option, the Post reports.
The court sided with the mother, allowing the transition of the seven-year-old to begin.
In 2019, a California father lost custody of his 15-year-old son when his wife simultaneously announced she wanted a divorce and that their son, Drew, was transgender, the New York Post reports.
The father, Ted Huckado, researched the process of gender transition and became concerned about the health consequences of the medical decision. Huckado said he was not even certain his son had exhibited symptoms of gender dysphoria as his wife claimed.
Legal proceedings between husband and wife concluded with the judge awarding the mother sole custody and later revoking all parental authority from Drew’s father. Huckado is no longer allowed to speak with or see his son.
The judge in the case, California Superior Court Judge Joni Hiramoto, “never disclosed to the parties that she is a mother to a transgender child whose transition she publicly supported on social media,” the New York Post reports. Hiramato asked openly hostile questions of the father, the paper reports.
Huckado was able to prevent the gender transition surgery, but his ex-wife had a puberty-blocking implant inserted into Drew and started him on cross-sex hormones.
Parents all across the country are losing custody battles over transgender ideology, and activists are pressuring judges and medical professionals to compel parents to give in to their demands, The Daily Caller reports.
“’There’s no precedent’ for legally compelling parents, doctor Michelle Forcier said, according to [New York Post author Abigail] Shrier,” the website reports. “’But you can again work with the child protection team for medical neglect. Work with one parent, at least to get things started. And again, you can do some education.’”
An op-ed by a bioethicist for the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) states parents should not be allowed to decide whether their children undergo gender transition. The abstract of the JME article says even doctors should not be allowed to say no. “[I]t is no longer the job of physicians to do their own weighing of the costs and benefits of transition-related care,” the article claims.
“Assuming the patient is informed and competent, then only the patient can make this assessment, because only the patient has access to the true weight of transition-related benefits,” Maura Priest writes for the JME. “Moreover, taking LGBT patient testimony seriously also means that parents should lose veto power over most transition-related pediatric care.”
Priest argues only the patient can determine a medical plan for gender transition. The hypothetical “patient” referred to in the article is a minor child, and the author is referring to pediatric care.
The article abstract does not state who should enforce the principle that parents and health providers be barred from refusing to give these treatments.
“The article’s publication is another shuffle-step by the medical sector, which is seeking to quietly grab more power and status from the parents who create, nurture, raise and educate the next generation of Americans,” writes Neil Munro for Breitbart.
For more great content from Rights, Justice & Culture News.
For more from The Heartland Institute.