New South Wales, News

Hormone treatment for trans teen approved despite mother’s opposition

Following a landmark Family Court ruling, a 16-year-old trans girl whose mother opposed her transition has been granted access to hormone therapy.

The girl’s father had consented to the treatment, but her mother would not, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

Family Court Justice Garry Watts on Thursday granted access to oestrogen therapy for the girl, who has been known by the pseudonym Imogen for privacy.

“We got the result last night and we had a bit of a cry,” said Imogen’s father on Friday.

He described the outcome as a relief, saying that the judge had been “very fair” and focused on his daughter’s best interests.

Imogen has identified as female from the age of six or seven years, the court heard.

Her mother disputed Imogen’s competency to consent to treatment, the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and the treatment itself.

Justice Watts ruled against these claims, saying that Imogen had “expressed a consistent, persistent, and insistent view that she wishes to move to… gender affirming hormone treatment”.

He ruled that Imogen was a young person “of intelligence and maturity” able to consent and that the diagnosis and treatment were appropriate.

Hormone therapy is sometimes known as stage two treatment, following stage one, which is reversible puberty blockers.

Some trans people go on to have surgery as stage three of transition in adulthood, though many do not.

A representative of Sydney’s Inner City Legal Centre said that the ruling set a precedent that would “improve certainty” for young trans people.

“The court’s judgment confirms that the existing law is that a medical practitioner seeing a young person under the age of 18 cannot initiate stage one, two, or three treatment without establishing parental consent,” they said.

Resources and community services to support young trans people and their families are available around Australia.

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