Children as young as 11 could begin hormone treatment to change their sex in an upcoming landmark family court case in Sydney.
A child wanting to transition wouldn’t need approval from a court but instead only their parents and a medical professional.
In a move that hasn’t been seen in 12 years five Family Court appeal judges will sit on the case to heard by the Full Court.
The case was launched by the father of a 16-year-old who was born female but identified as male from nine-years-old, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The child, identified under the pseudonym Kelvin, then changed schools to start as a male, used a chest binder and attended the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex and Questioning ‘campout’ on the Central Coast in 2014.
His father has launched the appeal to remove the court from the process at all despite having decided Kelvin fully understands what is required with starting the hormone treatment.
No applications for hormone treatment have been denied since the first transgender case in 2004.
The Family Court has seen around 60 similar cases between now and then.
Putting a case forward costs an estimated $20,000-plus in legal fees deterring many families from launching the action, meaning the child must wait until they are 18 to start the process without the court approval. Multiple Family Court judges have indicated the issue is not for the courts.
‘A number of judges have expressed the view that this is not a matter that should be before the court,’ Associate Professor Fiona Kelly, the editor of Australian Journal of Family Law said on Monday.
Transgender girl Georgie Stone began her transition when she was just 11-years-old to stop developing masculine features through puberty.
The now-17-year-old said she would have killed herself if her voice broke, but beat the biological clock when she became the youngest person in Australia to be granted pubertal suppression.
About five years after the Family Court granted her competent to consent to treatment, Georgie began campaigning to make it easier to access for transgender teens and children. After her own win, Georgie and her parents – Greg Stone and her mother Rebekah Robertson – appealed the court’s jurisdiction, and had a partial victory in 2013.
To access stage one treatment, known as puberty blockers, children are no longer required to go to court as it was deemed fully reversible and felt to be therapeutic. The second stage of treatment – irreversible gender-affirming hormones is what will be contested.
Read More: Daily Mail Australia
By: Fiona Conner
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