A judge has sided with the parents of a 4-year-old child who was assigned male at birth but lives as a girl – despite social workers threatening to take her into care.
The parents allowed their child, who identifies as female, to wear a girls’ uniform to school, leading the local council to intervene.
They sought the “immediate removal” of the child in question – referred to only as H in court – as well as her siblings from the home, based purely on the child’s gender identity.
After hearing from experts who raved about the couple’s parenting abilities, social services retracted their initial recommendation. However, the parents decided to take the case to court to alleviate the “cloud of suspicion” they felt they were living with.
Social workers originally said the couple were “resistant to acknowledging any potential disadvantage to H of being identified as transgender prematurely.”
They also claimed that the parents had “actively encouraged” the child and “acted in a precipitate manner in relation to perceived gender dysphoria.”
London High Court judge Mr Justice Williams dismissed this allegation, saying they are “attuned and careful” parents and that “the evidence does not support the contention that it was actively encouraged rather than appropriately supported”.
The judge also made the point that issues relating to gender were complex and still developing. He said:
Inevitably there is some lag between those professionals at the cutting edge and others, in which I include myself, which might have played some role in how these proceedings came about.
The decision has been positively received among the LGBT+ community.