So many fathers are fighting on behalf of their children’s right to decent treatment. They don’t hate their former partners–or women in general. They just want to make sure their kids are safe. Add in the furor of socially hot topics, and some cases get much larger than themselves. They become vehicles used to help (or hurt) other children.
Nearly a year ago, we reported on the case of Jeffrey Younger, a Texas man fighting desperately to keep one of his children from undergoing gender transition therapy.
At the time, a judge granted the mother, pediatrician Anne Georgulas, primary custody and sole discretion regarding medical decisions for the couple’s twin sons. This included mental health decisions. Georgulas took their son James to a therapist who specializes in child gender dysphoria who promptly diagnosed the child and refused her ex-husband the opportunity to seek a neutral second opinion.
Younger was also barred from his children’s school where his ex-wife enrolled their 6-year-old James under a female name. The father was given only a few days of visitation a week based on the fact that he refused to support his child’s transition.
‘He Said, She Said’ When Safety’s on the Line
To progressive parents, Younger might seem like a monster here. His child, according to mom, has identified as female from age 3. His child portrays a girl in school and wishes to dress in female clothes and have long hair. The problem? Younger contends Georgula is unfairly influencing him and that James acts like a boy, dresses as a boy and refers to himself as a boy while in dad’s care.
Georgulas had every intention of starting the child on puberty blockers starting as early as age 8, or in other words, next year. The therapies haven’t been proven safe for children, and they may not be fully reversible despite claims by some transition proponents.
According to the University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center’s Transgender Care department, lasting side effects include sterility that sets in after just a few months of treatment. It also includes breast tissue that might develop, leading to a need for invasive surgery and the scarring that comes with it.
And, while in court, the mom’s statements made a lot of sense, as she said:
“From my knowledge as a pediatrician and also from the research I’ve done, it is better to affirm for the psychological well-being of the child … [doctors recommended] that we affirm the child’s choices, whatever those choices are.”
it’s hard to believe anyone would believe the media circus surrounding such a case would contribute to a young child’s psychological well-being. Georgulas was forced to close her practice over safety concerns.
A Case Against Hormone Therapy in Children
In many situations, both parents have to agree on risky medical procedures for their children. Courts will sometimes allow one parent to prevent or stop treatment if they believe the benefits aren’t worth the risks.
If James Younger is choosing to identify as a girl, she should have her father’s support. That isn’t the same as supporting or encouraging potentially irreversible physical changes. The father isn’t the only one to think so.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called on Children’s Protective Services to investigate the case. Several states have started to discuss laws limiting the use of puberty blockers and other gender-bending medical procedures on prepubescent children as well.
But most importantly, on Oct. 22, after a jury awarded Georgulas sole conservatorship over her child (Texas is the only state that still allows juries in family law matters), Judge Kim Cook vacated the decision and gave both parents joint conservatorship. Thus, making it possible for Jeffrey Younger to seek that second neutral medical opinion for his child.