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Ohio Christian Parents Lose Custody of 17-Year-Old Daughter for Refusing Her Transgender Drugs

rainbow flag over the Supreme Court

An Ohio couple has temporarily lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter after refusing her transgender hormones prescribed by doctors who claim she suffers from gender dysphoria and will commit suicide without the drugs. A judge is expected to rule on her long-term custody Friday.

In 2016, the unnamed girl was hospitalized and diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, and gender dysphoria, which the American Psychiatric Association defines as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.” Doctors claim that the parents' treating the girl as a girl has triggered suicidal feelings.

Temporary custody has been granted to Hamilton County Job and Family Services, which has placed the girl with her maternal grandparents, who support the transgender identity. The medical team from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center testified that the girl is improving because her grandparents are treating her like a boy. They argued that she should immediately start treatment to decrease the risk of suicide, however.

"We think the grandparents are the ones who have an open mind and will ... make this sort of decision best for the child," Paul Hunt, an attorney for Hamilton County Job and Family Services, testified, according to court records obtained by CNN. "The parents have clearly indicated that they're not open to it," i.e. giving their daughter transgender hormones.

Karen Brinkman, the parents' attorney, argued that the parents love their daughter and would even allow her to live with the grandparents "because they believe that the current living arrangement is in [her] best interest."

Regarding transgender hormones, Brinkman argued that "it does not appear that this child is even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time."

"If the maternal grandparents were to be given custody, it would simply be a way for the child to circumvent the necessity of parents’ consent,” Brinkman explained. “[The] Parents believe custody of the child should be restored to them, so they can make the medical decisions they believe are in their child’s best interest until [the child] turns 18 years of age.”

Hamilton County prosecutor Donald Clancy argued that the parents are basing their decision on religious beliefs, not the best interest of the child. The "father testified that any kind of transition at all would go against his core beliefs and allowing the child to transition would be akin to him taking his heart out of his chest and placing it on the table," Clancy argued.

Clancy admitted that the father "fully accepts" his child, but noted that the father also testified that having the girl come home acting like a boy would "warp" her siblings' perception of reality.