Parents who want their children to take hormones to help block puberty – allowing them to later change their gender – no longer have to apply to the Family Court for permission, a landmark ruling has declared.
The parents of “Jamie”, who had earlier successfully applied to the court for hormone treatment to help suppress the onset of the child’s puberty, later challenged the need for the court to give final consent, arguing the decision should be left to them as parents.
In a judgment on Thursday, the court’s full bench concluded that stage one treatment of the condition known as “childhood gender identity disorder” was not a medical procedure that required court permission.
Sheila Jeffreys, a professor at the Melbourne University, said it was wrong that children would be able to start hormone therapy without the scrutiny provided by the court.
“The Family Court is not doing a good job of acting as a break on this form of abuse of children,” she said.
“That means that there will be no information about how these decisions are made. None of that information will be available to the public so there will be no scrutiny.”