London, England–From Family’s fury as girl, 12, allowed to have sex-change operation without against father’s wishes (Evening Standard, 5/25/08):
“A huge ethical row has erupted over a judge’s decision to allow a 12- year-old girl to have a sex change that will turn her into a teenage boy.
“The child’s father, who is separated from her mother, is outraged at the prospect but despite his objections the taxpayer-funded sex swap has already got under way.
“His daughter, who cannot be named because of her age, is already having hormone treatment in Australia in what is one of the first such cases involving a child so young…a relative of the child claimed the girl had been ‘vindictively brainwashed’ by her mother into making the decision to have the change.
“A cousin who stayed with the girl’s family for two and a half years said yesterday that after a bitter break-up the mother had used the child to ‘get back’ at the father.
“‘She’s been brainwashed from an early age,’ said the cousin, who has to remain anonymous to protect the Victorian girl’s identity.
“‘The mother drilled into the girl from an early age that she would have preferred a boy.’
“Now the father, who considers his daughter is far too young to make a decision on her gender, is appealing to Melbourne’s legal fraternity for help in fighting the case after he ran out of money to afford representation in opposing the sex swap request.”
A few thoughts:
1) I think this girl is way, way too young to be making a decision like this. I know that the proponents of this believe that by doing it now, they can make it much easier for her to change from a female into a male. On the other hand, there is no way that a 12-year-old is capable of making an informed, intelligent decision on a matter this grave and important.
2) I believe that for any decision of this magnitude, there has to be agreement between the parents, assuming that both parents are fit. For one parent to be able to do this against the will and the objections of the other parent is wrong.
3) I would very much like to know more about the allegations that the girl’s cousin makes about her being alienated from her father, brainwashed at an early age, and cut off from half of her family.
4) Assuming the father is as this article portrays him, he has been placed in a horrible position. I’m sure he probably feels that if the girl could just come to his house and be with him, dad could take care of his little girl and all of these other weighty, adult issues would be resolved. He probably believes that it never would have come to this had he been allowed to be a regular part of the girl’s life. That may or may not be correct, but that’s probably how he feels.
Thanks to James, a reader, for sending me the story.