Family law: Appeal court says teen can continue hormone therapy

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Family Law on February 5, 2020.

A teen can proceed with hormone therapy to transition from female to male, the B.C. Court of Appeal recently ruled. The British Columbia panel of three judges ruled that the teen, who identifies as male but who was born female, doesn’t need further consent from his parents in order to proceed with treatment. Family law in the province says that a mature minor can consent to medical treatment without parental agreement.

In this case, the teen’s father was against the hormone therapy of his now 15-year-old child. Two judges said the teen was caused significant pain from his father who didn’t respect his wish to transition and that a breach in their relationship is not in the child’s best interests. The judges were told the father allegedly failed to speak with his child’s medical team or even to discuss the issue with his child.

The child saw a psychologist in 2018, who, with a team of physicians, agreed it was in the child’s best interests to continue with hormone therapy. The child’s health team received consent from the child and the child’s mother. But the father tried to block those treatments with a court order with the belief someone his child’s age couldn’t appreciate the consequences of what he termed experimental treatment.

There are many complicated issues — like this one — surrounding family law in British Columbia. Those seeking answers might be able to find some resolution to confusion by speaking with an experienced lawyer. The law typically requires parents to respect their children’s views on various subjects, including those dealing with gender.

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