It’s a big win for transgender teens today in Australia.
Australia was the last place in the world transgender children needed court authorisation to receive Stage 2 hormone treatment, even if they or their parents consented to the procedure.
That’s now no longer the case thanks to a landmark decision in the country’s Family Court on Thursday, ending the need for the unnecessary and stressful legal process.
Since 2013, it’s been a requirement that courts need to approve Stage 2 treatment.
Stage 2 hormone treatment involves the administration of oestrogen or testosterone, allowing an adolescent to develop the pubertal characteristics of the gender they associate with. It follows Stage 1 hormone treatment, which delays puberty.
It has finally happened! Families no longer have to apply to the Family Court of Australia for stage two treatment. It is COMPLETELY out of the courts. Congratulations to everyone who have fought for this. We’ve done it. Thank you for your hard work ❤️🏳️🌈
— Georgie Stone (@georgiestone16) November 30, 2017
The decision responds to a case, Re Kelvin, which involves a 16-year old boy only known as “Kelvin,” who was assigned female at birth.
“Kelvin” has been formally diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and despite both his parents consented to him receiving Stage 2 hormone treatment, he still needed court approval.
Of course, the court process takes an extraordinary toll on transgender teens. As the court notes, if Kelvin were not to receive treatment “his overall health and wellbeing is almost certain to deteriorate especially as his mental and physical health is heavily dependent on the perception of himself as male.”
Since 2013, more than 60 applications for treatment have been approved by the Family Court, and Thursday’s decision eliminates the stress of the legal system.
“Transgender adolescents will now be able to access the treatment that is best for them, making decisions in collaboration with their parents and their doctors without the delay and the distress that the Court system imposes on them and their families,” Michelle Telfer, associate professor at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, said in a statement.
“For these young people, the impact of this change is enormous. They will now have timely access to the treatment which provides a positive difference to their physical and mental health, and their social, emotional and educational outcomes.”