I’ve been waiting for a lawsuit like this to make the news and to be honest I’m shocked that it took this long. (It’s probably already happened but just not shown up on a national level.) A mother in Minnesota is going to court against her son’s school district, his health care provider, the county they live in and – most improbably of all – her own child over a transgender transition which was taking place without her knowledge or consent. The Washington Post has most of the details, keeping in mind that they choose to repeatedly refer to her son with female pronouns.
An emotional Minnesota mother announced Wednesday that she was suing her transgender 17-year-old daughter, St. Louis County, its school district and the girl’s health-care providers over a state law that allowed the teen to undergo gender reassignment procedures without parental consent.
The woman, Anmarie Calgaro, is demanding that all therapies for her child — whom she and her lawyers refer to as her “son” in the complaint — be halted until she can petition a state court.
“Not only was I robbed of the opportunity to help my son make good decisions,” Calgaro said at a news conference, “but I also feel he was robbed of a key advocate in his life, his mother.”
What complicates the case is Calgaro’s relationship with her daughter, which was described as estranged in a letter attached to the complaint.
The spin in the Washington Post story is obvious. They refer to the child as “estranged” from the mother and at another point, “emancipated.” But if you read the recounting of the tale from the mother it’s a very different story. The boy was fifteen years old when this all began in June of last year. But unlike a situation wherein a minor child can normally petition to be emancipated through the courts, the boy never went in front of a judge. He was issued a “Notice of Emancipation” from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, a non-profit agency. Using just that single document, county representatives issued a drivers license to the boy and even arranged for public housing.
They then launched into a medical program of hormones and other treatments to begin his “transition” into being a girl. The mother was cut off by her son’s school (which was clearly aiding and abetting the process) and had no access to his medical records. The entire thing is like something out of a nightmare.
Obviously there were problems at home, but how did this situation spiral out of control so quickly? It seems to all hinge on the “emancipation” in question. The home page for the courts in the Minnesota state government provides some vague guidelines as to how a child can be emancipated but they admit that there are no forms involved and you should contact a lawyer.
Minnesota Statutes define who is a minor and who is an adult at MN Statutes § 645.451. Generally, being “emancipated” means that a minor has the same legal responsibilities as an adult. Minnesota Statutes do not specifically define a process by which a minor can become emancipated.
Courts will review “Petitions for Emancipation” and decide on a case-by-case basis if there is sufficient evidence to find that a minor may live “independently” of his/her parents or guardian. However, the courts do not publish forms or instructions to petition for “emancipation.” The Legal Fact Sheet on Emancipation published by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid explains the basics on this area of law. To get legal advice on your situation, you should talk with a lawyer.
Here we see part of the problem because the state government’s own website sends the user to Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, the same group that essentially helped to hijack the boy away from the mother to begin with. Still, their guidelines say that “Courts will review Petitions for Emancipation” on a case by case basis and that never happened here. Meanwhile there were school and county workers helping send her son to a clinic for some sort of medical process which should never be applied to a child.
As bad as I feel for both the mother and the child, this is precisely the sort of case which needs to be heard and kicked up the chain on appeal for a more definitive resolution if she loses on the first round. The states are, in some cases, passing bizarre laws which hamstring the rights of parents and subject children to dangerous procedures in the name of political correctness and “social justice” when we normally wouldn’t even allow them to have an aspirin handed out to them at school without a note from the parent or guardian. (Washington State is one of the biggest offenders.)
This is insanity and we need some guidance from the courts, as well as protection for the rights of parents. Let’s hope that’s coming soon.