Family Court: Trans teens no longer need court approval for treatment

The Full Court of the Family Court have ruled that young Australians seeking treatment for gender affirmation will no longer have to receive court authorisation to move forward.

Following continued criticism from health experts and trans activists, young people will now be able to have hormone treatment prescribed by their doctor in accordance with the child and their parent’s wishes.

The case was reached the Family Court after the father of 16-year-old transperson Kelvin, with assistance from the Inner City Legal Centre, urging them to reconsider the standing law.

Attorney-General George Brandis, the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne and advocates from A Gender Agenda also appealed to the Family Court in the case of Re Kelvin.

The Australian Human Rights Commission, who also submitted to the case, have welcomed the landmark decision.

“This decision will improve human rights protection for young transgender people in Australia. It also brings Australia in line with recommendations by the United Nations,” Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said.

National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell added that the ruling was consistent with Australia’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The decision recognises our obligations to protect and promote children’s rights to health, non-discrimination, the preservation of their identity and to participate in decisions that affect them,” Mitchell said.

“The process of seeking court authorisation can cause distress for young people and their families due to financial costs and delays in treatment.”

The Australian Greens have also praised the Family Court decision, disposing of a “time-consuming and expensive process.”

“This is a great result for all trans and gender diverse young people,” Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson Senator Janet Rice said.

“It is absurd that we have had this barrier when the Family Court has never knocked back a young person’s request for hormones where they, their family and their medical team all agree that is it right for them.”

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