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15 Whittier J. Child. & Fam. Advoc. 125 (2016)
Two Divorced Parents, One Transgender Child, Many Voices

handle is hein.journals/wjcfad15 and id is 133 raw text is: 


WHITTIER JOURNAL OF CHILD AND FAMILY ADVOCACY


   Two Divorced Parents, One Transgender Child,
                       Many Voices

 Proposal for Effective Use of Expert Witnesses to Demonstrate
   That Awarding Custody to a Supportive Parent Is in a Trans
                 Young Person's Best Interest

                      Jaime B. Margolis

                         Introduction

    A child is born to two loving parents, who name her Laura
and take pictures of her in frilly dresses before she has even
learned to smile. Soon, Laura is talking and walking and playing
with dolls. Laura's parents still love Laura, but not each other.
They divorce, and share custody of Laura. At 7 years old, Laura
refuses to put on a dress, or play with her dolls. Laura says she is
not a girl at all, and asks her parents to call her Karl.

       The mother agrees, and seeks out the help of the family
pediatrician and therapist to decide on a course of treatment with
the ultimate goal of a complete physical and hormonal transition
post-puberty. The father will not let go of Laura, and his pastor
and doctor agree with him that at the very least, his child is too
young for such a life-altering medical decision. Mom, dad, and
child go to court, where the best interest of the child standard
means that it is up to their local family court to decide which
parent, if either, may prevail.

   Parental disagreements about the care of children like Karl
are a relatively recent phenomenon, with limited controlling
precedent. Thus, courts are relatively unconstrained in how much
or how little weight a child's gender dysphoria has in decisions
awarding custody. Given that transgender children face major
future medical and social decisions, courts and parents' attorneys
may look to medical and mental health professionals to serve as


[Vol. 15:1 ]

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