I first started to stick my head out the door back in 2000 someone that I knew in the community was going through a divorce and she had to fight to keep joint custody of her son. The Department of Children and Families wanted to take away her parenting privilege because she is trans.
Why parents are losing custody of trans and gender non-conforming kidsThe judges are playing Russian roulette with the children’s lives.
By Maria Polletta,
April 10, 2018
The divorced parents had joint custody of their three children and equal parenting time.
But soon after the mother began allowing their male child — identified in legal documents as "L." — to wear a skirt to school, the father took his ex-wife to court.
Arguing that the mother, "through various acts, was pushing a female gender identification on L.," the father asked for sole legal custody to make decisions about the child's health care and schooling, according to court records. He also requested L. live with him full-time.
A family-court judge responded with sweeping injunctions forbidding the mother to discuss gender-related issues at home; dress L. in female clothing; let the child have any "female-oriented" toys; or refer to L. as "her," "she" or a "girl."
Though the injunctions were described as "temporary," they remained in place for more than two years while the case was under review. When they were partially lifted in early 2016, they accompanied a ruling "that all three children’s best interests" would be served by granting the father sole legal custody.
"In a lot of these cases, children are stating, 'I don’t want to live,' or they’re getting admitted to Phoenix Children’s because they’re slamming their heads against floors," said Cammy Bellis, founder of Mothers in Transition. The non-profit group connects moms of gender non-conforming children with legal resources.There are many, many studies that show if children are allowed to explore their gender identity suicidal ideation vanish but by forcing them in to gender roles that they do not identify with their suicidal thoughts sky rocket to over 40%.
Scholars and advocates said L.'s case reflects a widespread lack of experience with gender issues among family-court professionals in the U.S.Here in Connecticut DCF is starting to believe not allowing a child to explore their gender is a form of child abused, a 180 degree change from when my friend was fighting for joint parenting with her ex.
They drew parallels with the family-court environment of the 1970s and 1980s when ex-partners of gay and lesbian parents used stereotypes about homosexuality to win custody.