A 17-year-old Minnesota transgender teen began transitioning from male to female and the mom is now suing the child as well as the school district, St. Louis county, and healthcare providers. Anmarie Calgaro has asked that all treatment for her child be halted until she can petition the state court. The mother stated that medical care was administered without her consent.
According to Calgaro’s lawsuit, she claims that the St. Louis County Health Department, Park Nicollet Health Services, Fairview Health Services, and the St. Louis County School District treated her child as an emancipated minor, per NBC News.
“It was brought to my knowledge that my son (sic) began receiving hormone replacement treatments from Park Nicollet Health Services to transition from male to female, with medical assistance paying for this. I was not consulted or informed about this in any way.”
Anmarie Calgaro sued her daughter, after she kicked her daughter out for being trans, for getting trans treatment https://t.co/J3A8YRGd5e
— Glimmers of Joie (@Theobromia) November 18, 2016
Calgaro and attorney Erick Kaardal are challenging a state law that allows minors to access medical care without the consent of their parents. Kaardal explained that physicians and other medical providers determine whether a teen is emancipated, and this, in turn, allows teens to receive “non-emergency, medical procedures.” Although the state of Minnesota does not have a specific legal process for emancipation, it does make provisions for minors who aren’t living at home, NBC News also added.
“Any minor who is living separate and apart from parents… and who is managing personal financial affairs, regardless of the source or extent of the minor’s income, may give effective consent to personal medical, dental, mental and other health services, and the consent of no other person is required.”
In June 2015, the Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid non-profit helped the teen file an emancipation statement. She then stated that her mother knew where she was located but made no effort to reunite her with the family or report her as a runaway. The notice was filed in District Court in October 2015, but no court order was executed, according to Fox News. She also stated that the relationship between her and her mother is estranged. Calgaro recently stated that the two have a good relationship. To date, the mother’s parent rights have not been legally terminated.
— FamilyCourtInjustice (@FCInjustice) November 17, 2016
When the emancipation statement was originally filed, the teen told Legal Aid that she had been separated from Calgaro for six months and was working two jobs to support herself while attending school, per the Washington Post. Legal Aid then determined that the teen met the criteria to be declared a legally emancipated minor. This status, according to the Minnesota organization, would allow the teen to initiate transgender preparation treatment. To date, there has been no surgery.
Due to the treatment the teen has undergone so far, one of her physicians, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, stated that she could legally change her name, the Washington Post also noted. When she attempted to do this, Calgaro objected and a district court judge dismissed the application. The judge stated that the law requires a parent to petition the court for a minor’s name change, and until it was determined that the child was emancipated, the court could not take action. Calgaro is being represented by the Thomas More Society, a law firm that litigates anti-abortion and religious liberty cases.
LGBTQ advocates believe the lawsuit is misguided and feel the mother is wrong for “mis-gendering” her child and repeatedly using words such as “son” and male pronouns to reference the teen who identifies as a transgender female. David Edwards of Transforming Families stated that referring to transgender individuals with the wrong pronouns is an act of violence, insensitive, and harmful.
The transgender teen in this case will be 18 in July, so the outcome of the case will not affect her family for long. But it may also set a precedent for other cases involving transgender minors.
[Featured Image by Allison Joyce/Getty Images]