Blog Post

Parental Rights At Risk in Transgender Cases

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

In the battle to win “equality” for children struggling with gender identity, state governments are becoming increasingly prone to intervene in ways that have cost one couple custody of their child while another state is considering a bill that will allow children as young as five to determine their own sex and race.

Fox is reporting on Delaware’s proposed Regulation 225 that would require schools to provide access to facilities and activities consistent with a student’s gender identity. This identity can be chosen by the student and must be complied with regardless of whether the parent agrees with the decision.

"The regulation isn't about keeping a secret, it's about what's in the best interest of the child," said Mark Purpura, president of Equality Delaware. "The reality is there are children living in fear who do not feel comfortable coming out to their parents as gay or transgender."

The new rule would apply to children as young as five years old who would be allowed to choose not only their sex, but their race as well.

Parents reacted with outrage to the regulation with the proposal drawing more than 11,000 public comments. The majority were in opposition to the new rule. After the public hearing period is completed, the Department of Education will ultimately approve or deny the regulation.

But this is just one example of state overreach when it comes to gender identity.

Breitbart is reporting on the case of an Ohio couple who lost custody of their 17 year-old daughter last week because they opposed her decision to undergo hormone treatments as part of a female-to-male transition.

The dispute began a year ago when the the girl’s medical team recommended that the girl begin hormone therapy. The parents objected, citing their religious beliefs. The girl’s grandparents stepped in, offering to take her in where she would be allowed to transition into a male.

The parents refused, which resulted in law suits and, eventually, an intervention by the Hamilton Country Department of Jobs and Family Services and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where the child is being treated.

The state sought temporary custody of the child, alleging parental neglect and abuse, and ordered her to live with her grandparents while the case was being decided.

According to court records, the girl claimed she was suicidal because her parents continued to call her by her given name rather than the male name she chose for herself. They also sent her to a Catholic school where she had to wear a girl’s uniform and use her birth name.

The courts eventually sided with the girl and awarded full custody to her grandparents who will now be permitted to make medical decisions for her until she reaches the age of 18.

“It is unfortunate that this case required resolution by the Court as the family would have been best served if this could have been settled within the family after all parties had ample exposure to the reality of the fact that the child truly may be gender-nonconforming and has a legitimate right to pursue life with a different gender identity than the one assigned at birth,” wrote Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon in her decision.

According to Parental, the erosion of parental rights, particularly in the area of education, has become very alarming. In their Special Report: The State of Parental Rights in America, 2017, they cite a “tension between parents and a group of professional elites who believe they can better make decisions for all children.”

This is in spite of the 1972 Supreme Court decision in Wisconsin v. Yoder  that "This primary role of parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition."

But, like so many other American traditions, parental rights are coming under fire in our schools, particularly in the area of human sexuality.

In their document, Rights and Duties of Parents, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explicitly state that “The right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; and it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.”

They urge parents to “organize to resist efforts by the State, the media or population control groups that present erroneous models of sex education which corrupt their children.”

We must continue to fight this encroachment of parental rights, for the good of families and, most of all, for the welfare of our children' hearts, minds, and souls.

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