LONDON — A judge in the United Kingdom has declared that a mother caused her male child “significant emotional harm” by treating him as a female now that he has shown interest in masculine activities after being removed from the woman’s custody.
According to reports, the seven-year-old boy, who is only being identified as “J”, had been living with his mother after his parents separated when he was still an infant.
The mother, however, was “absolutely convinced that J perceived himself as a girl,” and would dress him in female clothing. In 2013, it has been noted that the boy was wearing a pink headband and nail polish, and some expressed concern to authorities.
The following year, social workers visited the child’s home, but “moved into wholesale acceptance that J should be regarded as a girl.”
On Friday, Justice Anthony Hayden noted, “In May 2014. information was communicated to social services from their own Housing Department which was entirely in conflict with the information they had previously received. In particular, it contained the alarming assertion [by his mother], which as it transpired was entirely untrue, that J had been ‘diagnosed as transgender.'”
He expressed bewilderment as to why a multitude of concerns had been tossed aside by social services.
“When all this is properly analysed, it is clear that flares of concern were being sent from a whole raft of multi-disciplinary agencies. Each was signalling real anxiety in respect of this child’s welfare,” Hayden stated.
“Concerns were dismissed on the basis that it was the other agencies who ‘did not have a full understanding of gender non-conforming children.’ In fact, it was [social workers] and senior managers whose understanding was lacking,” he said. “This local authority has consistently failed to take appropriate intervention where there were strong grounds for believing that a child was at risk of serious emotional harm.”
Last October, the boy’s mother removed him from school “due to them having issues with J dressing as a girl.” Teachers had advised that the child behaved no differently than other boys and became concerned about the mother’s alleged “confrontational and inappropriate behavior.”
As legal proceedings had also been taking place for several years between the father and mother (the father had been concerned about a lack of visitation), the boy was eventually sent to live with his father.
Since then, the child has shown interest in masculine activities.
“I have been told that [the father] and his partner were shocked when they first saw J by the extent to which he appeared to be a girl, both in appearance and in mannerism,” Hayden stated. “However, what is striking is how well J has settled down.”
“It is striking that most of J’s interests are male-oriented,” he said. “I am entirely satisfied, both on the basis of the reports and [the father’s] evidence at this hearing, that he has brought no pressure on J to pursue masculine interests. J’s interests and energy are entirely self-motivated.”
Hayden consequently declared, “I consider that [the mother] has caused significant emotional harm to J in her active determination that he should be a girl.”