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Law

Mother who lied to court to block trans son’s gender-affirming surgery shut down by judge

Patrick Kelleher January 19, 2021
Court gavel leaning against books

The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled against a mother who tried to stop her transgender son from accessing gender affirming healthcare. (Envato Elements)

A mother who tried to prevent her transgender son from getting gender affirmation surgery has had her legal challenge rejected by a court.

British Columbia Supreme Court justice Diane Cheryl MacDonald ruled on Monday (18 January) that the mother’s intervention was an abuse of process, according to CTV News.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had tried to stop her 17-year-old transgender son from going ahead with top surgery, which was originally scheduled for November 2020.

The mother, referred to as AM in court documents, successfully stopped her son from going ahead with his top surgery in November when a judge granted an emergency injunction stopping the procedure just one day before it was scheduled to go ahead.

However, in her ruling Monday, MacDonald said AM had made “egregious misstatements” to the court in an effort to stop her son from accessing affirming healthcare.

In her original lawsuit, the teen’s mother claimed that she had a good relationship with her son and that she was his sole guardian – however, both claims were found to be false by the Supreme Court.

The teenager, referred to as YZ in court documents, has a strained relationship with his mother and he has been living independently for a number of years. He has been supported in this by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

AM is still YZ’s legal guardian, alongside his father, but the parents were ordered in the past that they should defer to their son’s doctor if they were unable to reach agreement on a medical decision.

Transgender teenager ‘hopeful’ he can move on with his life.

The teen’s mother failed to mention that order when she sought an emergency injunction in November 2020.

In her ruling, MacDonald noted that the boy’s doctors and his father were supportive of him accessing gender affirmation surgery and that his mother was alone in her opposition.

Lawyer Adrienne Smith, who represented the teenager, told CTV News that their client is now “hopeful that he can just get on with his life”.

Smith also noted that the question of trans minors accessing gender affirming healthcare is already settled law under British Columbia’s Infant Act which allows minors to make their own choices about healthcare if a doctor decides that they are mature enough to do so.

This is not the first time such a case has been taken in Canada by a parent trying to stop their transgender child from accessing healthcare.

In 2019, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that a teenage boy didn’t need his father’s consent to access hormone treatment.

In her ruling Monday, MacDonald noted that the judge who granted the emergency injunction in November was not aware of that previous case, nor were they aware that the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the transgender boy accessing gender affirming treatment.

More: British Columbia, Canada, Transgender

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