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Transgender Teens in Australia Celebrate Milestone Victory

Transgender Teens in Australia Celebrate Milestone Victory

Australia's Family Court struck down the stressful legal process of obtaining stage two hormone treatment in a landmark decision made on Thursday.

Families will no longer have to go to court to seek approval for the puberty-blocking treatment, which involves the administration of estrogen to feminize a body, or testosterone to masculine the body of children who are typically 16-years-old, following the stage one procedure.


According to The Courier Mail, the Full Court judges said:

The treatment can no longer be considered a medical procedure for which consent lies outside the bounds of parental authority and requires the imprimatur of the court.

Parents in support of their gender dysphoric teens can now consult with a healthcare team to make decisions about the treatment together. It's a victory that Human Rights Commissioner, Edward Santow is excited about.

This decision will improve human rights protection for young transgender people in Australia. It also brings Australia in line with recommendations by the United Nations.

The court's decision responds to 16-year-old "Kelvin," who was appointed as female since birth, but socially transitioned as a transgender child in his 8th year. Even though medical experts and "Kelvin's" parents consented for their son to receive stage two hormone treatment, the family still faced the arduous legal process in getting approval.

The court expressed the consequences of "Kelvin" being denied treatment, saying, "his overall health and well being is almost certain to deteriorate especially as his mental and physical health is heavily dependent on the perception of himself as male."

A transgender child without undergoing stage two gender approval treatment is subject to developing irreversible physical changes during puberty that could lead to surgery later on.

Now with the Family Court's decision, A Gender Agenda executive director Sel Cooper said legal discrimination against young transgenders seeking the procedure had been lifted.

The AGA exec said:

The court’s decision means transgender young people, like any young person seeking medical treatment, will be able to make decisions about gender-affirming hormone therapy, guided by medical professionals and their parents, rather than judges,’

Since 2013, 62 of 63 cases between July 2013 and August 2017 have been approved for stage two gender affirming treatment.

The only case denied clearance was for an 18-year-old who lacked sufficient evidence the teen was "Gillick competent" - an English medical term used to determine if a child can consent to treatment without parental approval.

The news of the Full Court's decision is a monumental advancement in the transgender community. A parent of a transgender teen expressed, "When I told my son about the decision in Re: Kelvin he cried with relief. "No longer would our family have to go through the difficult and expensive process of going to court to enable them to continue his transition."


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H/T - couriermail, mashable, wikipedia, twitter