The Full Court of the Family Court held in the 2017 decision of Re Kelvin that the Court’s sanction is no longer required for stage two treatment of Gender Dysphoria where the child is capable of giving Informed Consent or those with parental authority authorise the treatment.
In this case the Father made an Application to the Family Court to sanction the administration of “stage 2” medical treatment for Gender Dysphoria for his sixteen year old child who was born female but transitioned socially as a transgender person from year 8.
Before this recent decision, the leading case involving Gender Dysphoria was the 2013 case of Re Jamie. The Full Court held in Re Jamie that the Court’s sanction of stage one treatment, being puberty blocking treatment, was not required but that stage two treatment, involving the use of oestrogen or testosterone with irreversible effects, would require the Court’s approval.
The Full Court in Re Kelvin departed from the decision in Re Jamie. It held that a child who is capable of giving informed consent can authorise stage two treatment for Gender Dysphoria. Where a child is incapable of giving valid consent, those who have parental responsibility for the child may authorise treatment.
The development and the treatment of an understanding of Gender Dysphoria since the 2013 decision of Re Jamie allowed the court depart from the decision of Re Jamie. The Court was of the view that the risks involved and the consequences which arise out of the treatment, being at least in some respects irreversible, can no longer be said to outweigh the therapeutic benefits of the treatment and court authorisation is not required.
If you would like to find out more about the legal issues surrounding gender Dysphoria, please contact our Melbourne based family lawyers on 03 8393 0144.