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Legal battles are on the rise over transgender children

2016-10-24
Legal battles over children who want to change their legal gender is on the rise as councils become more invovled, the Telegraph reports.   Andrea Williams, who is part of the Christian Legal Centre, a company that funds legal support for families, has spoken out saying legal disputes with transgender children were arising because of the awareness of transgender people in the public domain. Currently Christian Concern are dealing with four cases with parents not agreeing with schools and social workers decisions on children wanting to start transitioning. The Telegraph has reported that, Ms Williams has said: "People are raising genuine concerns about this but they feel very frightened to do so because they don't fit the public or school agenda. What we're seeing is things like children getting confused and even finding themselves in trouble at school if they get a kids' name wrong. "I would say what needs to happen is that children need to be helped and given psychiatric advice to help them come to terms with what they are. We very much want the welfare of the children. So long as we in society continue to push the issue it will lead to an increase in these cases." In one case local authority are backing a 14-year-old who is attempting to changer her name to a boy's name as part of her transition. However, her parents are challenging this and will be meeting with teachers and social workers in November to decided whether their daughter will be allowed to be known by a boy's name at school. The lawyer for the family has said that their is a possibility that the child could be taken into care if the parents don't cooperate. Speaking to the Telegraph the mother said: "We were told by the psychiatrist that CAHMS [Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services] said that if the name change does not happen then she would be a high suicide risk." Social workers are saying that as the parents of the child are christian and think their beliefs in traditional gender roles are playing a part in not allowing their child to change their name. The mother has spoken out on this claim saying: "After the age of 18 she must do what she wants to do, but while we can help her we must help her as parents. If that's her choice at the end, then so be it, but we do not want her turning around 10 years from now saying we failed to help her avoid a wrong choice." Social workers have claimed that the child would be at risk from suicide if not allowed to change her name.