Trans teen removed from parents' custody after they refused consent to transition

(Photo: Unsplash)

A transgender teenager has been removed from their parents' custody over their apparent refusal to consent to a gender transition. 

The teen, whose family migrated to Australia 10 years ago, was born female and wants to start hormone treatment to medically transition into a boy.  

In what is believed to be a legal first in the country, the judge ruled that on the balance of probabilities, the teen had suffered verbal abuse "related to his feelings and expression of gender identity", The Australian reports.

In comments to the newspaper, the father claimed to have been told by authorities that "we will not allow her to change gender, so it's dangerous for her to come back to our house because we will mentally abuse her – they want us to consent to testosterone treatment."

He denies that any abuse took place and is fighting in court to win back custody of his child. 

Lawyers representing the teen are seeking the court's approval to commence hormone treatment.

The case comes as the state of Victoria moves to ban so-called conversion therapy.

Under the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020, practitioners face a $10,000 (£5,500) fine and up to 10 years in prison.

The Bill has been condemned by the Australian Christian Lobby, who said it leaves parents at risk of being criminalized if they do not affirm their child's chosen gender identity.

ACL managing director Martyn Iles warned that it "cultivates falsehoods" around the type of therapy offered to people with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, and that the "main effect" of the legislation will be to "ban such benign things as Scripture, prayer (which is specifically listed in the Bill), voluntary support groups, and a host of other things". 

"The Bill digs up relics of the past as an excuse to ban innocent practices like the teaching of Scripture, friends praying for each other, and parents affirming their kids' biology, to name a few," he said.

"The Bill lies about the existence of LGBT people who want to embrace their faith and live according to the standards of their faith. The Bill guarantees they cannot seek voluntary pastoral support, pretending these Australians do not exist.

"The Bill lies about who is converting who. A child may be introduced to the idea of gender fluidity and encouraged to explore transgender identity, but a parent cannot then affirm the same child in their biological sex. That parent risks becoming a family violence offender under this Bill.

"The growing phenomenon of 'transgender regret' demonstrates that changing gender is not a one-way street."

He added, "The bill is an insult to the notions of tolerance and diversity."