An English judge has removed a boy from his mother's care, who was living his life as a girl, saying that the mother's misplaced belief that the boy identified as a girl has caused him "significant emotional harm," The Guardian is reporting. The case calls into question whether or not the boy in question actually identified as a girl, or whether his overzealous mother simply treated him as if he were a girl.
Justice Hayden has ordered that very few details about the case -- including the city in which he had lived, or the names of the social services agencies that had been involved in his care -- be revealed to the public, lest an "information jigsaw" be revealed that could lead to the boy's identity being discovered.
"I was also left in no doubt that [the mother] was absolutely convinced that [the boy] perceived himself as a girl. [The mother] believes herself to be to fighting for [her son's] right to express himself as a girl."The boy came to the attention of English child welfare authorities about three years ago, after his non-custodial father, who was divorced from the boy's mother, expressed concerns about how little time the boy's mother was allowing the father to see him. Once a "low-ranking" judge entered into the custody dispute, a variety of people -- including social workers, school officials, and even the boy's doctor -- began having contact with the boy. Hayden says that any and/all of those people should have noticed that something was amiss with the boy.
In fact, says the judge, "flares of concern" from a "whole raft of multi-disciplinary agencies" raised concerns about the boy, but that those concerns were "summarily dismissed."
The judge expressed alarm that social services agencies accepted the fact that the boy identified as a girl without giving the matter a second though. He's directed the authorities in the city where the social service agency is based to undertake a review of the "social work response" to the boy's case, something which they claim to have already begun doing.
Even the medical profession's response to the case has been called into question: the mother had registered the boy as a girl at his new pediatrician's office -- something that a quick exam could have settled pretty quickly.
"I consider that [the mother] has caused significant emotional harm to [her son] in her active determination that he should be a girl."Once the boy was allowed to visit with his father, the dad was shocked at what he saw.
"I have been told that [the father] and his partner were shocked when they first saw [the boy] by the extent to which he appeared to be a girl, both in appearance and in mannerism."Now that the boy has been sent to live with his father, the judge says, he is taking up more traditionally male-oriented hobbies, including SpongeBob SquarePants, the Power Rangers, and superheroes. Most important though, says the judge, is that the boy's father is giving him the freedom to pursue his own interests -- be they male-oriented or female-oriented -- on his own, without pressure from a parent.
"I am entirely satisfied, both on the basis of the reports and [the father's] evidence at this hearing, that he has brought no pressure on (the boy) to pursue masculine interests. [The boy's] interests and energy are entirely self-motivated."Do you believe the judge in this case did the right thing by removing the boy from his mother's care because she allowed him to live as a girl.
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