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A transgender teenager has won a High Court battle to cut off all contact with his adoptive parents after they struggled to come to terms with his transition.
The boy, identified only as PD, expressed that he wanted to be a boy in 2014 and was referred to the Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic with gender dysphoria.
He later changed by deed poll. However his parents, who adopted PD when he was six, struggled to come to terms with his decision and called him by his previous name.
In a ruling made public today, Mr Justice Keehan said the couple’s use of the wrong name had caused PD ‘great annoyance and distress’.
PD came to the decision that he no longer wished his parents to be involved in his life; or receive any information about him, his assessment or any possible treatment.
His parents came to accept they should not receive any medical information but, in the hope they would one day be reconciled with their son, asked to receive quarterly updates on PD’s life and welfare.
However the judge said PD, who has taken two overdoses and now lives with foster carers, did not agree with the request.
His views are held so strongly that he does not want his parents notified even if he needs emergency medical treatment.
‘The depths of his wishes are conveyed by his view that if he suffered a serious accident and underwent emergency surgery he would not want to wake and find his parents at his bedside.’
The judge acknowledged the situation is extremely difficult for everyone involved.
PD struggles to understand the complete lack of support and understanding shown by his parents. Meanwhile the couple struggled to cope with his feelings and decision about his gender.
The judge said: ‘The upshot is that he, at 16 years of age, has decided to completely disengage from family life with them.’
This was a decision PD was entitled to reach and one the court must respect, he said
The judge said he was pleased that the parents had expressed a willingness to engage with the Tavistock Clinic, which might help them understand how PD had felt when called by his previous name.
The judge continued: ‘Like the parents, I very much hope the time will come when a reconciliation is effected between PD and the parents.
‘In my judgment, however, the surest way of seeking to secure that outcome, is to respect PD’s current wishes and feelings.’
It was for PD to decide what, if and when any details about his life were given to his parents and it would be wholly contrary to his welfare, his Article 8 privacy rights and any hope of a reconciliation for the court to override his views and allow the local authority to provide information to his parents.
He added: ‘I know that this decision will be a source of real disappointment and distress to the parents. I hope, however, they will understand the reasons for my decision in the fullness of time.’