Parents are fighting social workers over their teenage daughter, who has claimed she wishes to be known as a boy.
According to a report in The Sunday Times,the family has challenged the local authority for backing their 14-year-old daughter’s attempts to take a boy’s name, as a step towards changing her gender, and are concerned for the health and mental state of their daughter.
Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, the family who had home-schooled all their children until December 2015, said they started to be concerned about their daughter, who a few months into her new school life claimed she wanted to become a boy.
The parents became deeply concerned and sought professional help for ‘Bethany’ (name changed for legal reasons) because they had concerns about her mental health.
In the summer term, the parents became increasingly worried about Bethany’s changed behaviour, including her self-harming and, when Bethany tried to run away, social services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) became involved.
However, over the recent summer holidays when the social worker’s involvement reduced, Bethany appeared to recover and stopped self-harming. But when she returned to school in September 2016, the social worker’s involvement increased and Bethany’s mental health again went downhill.
The family were told by CAMHS that unless they allowed the name change, their daughter would be at risk of suicide. However, Bethany’s mother said, ‘Our daughter is mentally unwell; we believe her present gender identity problems are part of her mental health problems. She should receive the appropriate help that she needs, rather than being forced into taking on a false identity. Our daughter is too young to make these decisions’.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: ‘The new transgender cultural movement is tantamount to “the emperor’s new clothes”. In gender, there is an objective reality, but forces are at work in seeking to undermine the obvious. The authorities are forcing an agenda that is untrue and harmful to our children.
‘This case demonstrates a shocking disregard for parental authority; no one is listening to what the parents want or have to say. This is just another step in the wrong direction for our society.
‘The social worker appears to have jumped to the conclusion Bethany is transgender, without even waiting for a formal diagnosis from the psychiatrist’.