The parents of a 17-year-old teenage girl have asked an Ohio family court to issue an order to stop transgender hormone treatments for their daughter.
The unnamed girl, who wants to transition to being male, has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder and gender dysphoria in 2016.
According to Metro Weekly, the teenager began having suicidal thoughts after her parents refused to acknowledge her gender identity.
The custody of the teenager has been temporarily granted to the Hamilton County Job and Family Services, which has placed the girl with her maternal grandparents. The medical team from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has testified that there has been an improvement in the teenager's condition because her grandparents treat her like a boy. The team contended that treatment should begin immediately to decrease the risk of suicide.
Karen Brinkman, an attorney representing the parents, acknowledged that it would be in the best interest of the teenager to continue living with her grandparents, but stressed that the parents are still best suited to retain custody and make medical decisions for their daughter.
The lawyer argued that the teenager's current mental state impedes her from making an informed decision about health care.
"It does not appear that this child is even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time," Brinkman said.
The grandparents have previously stated that they are willing to allow the child to receive treatment for gender dysphoria, including hormone therapy, if it was medically necessary.
The daughter's lawyer, Thomas Mellott, had testified that the girl had been enrolled in a Catholic school where she was forced to wear dresses and answer to her birth name. He said that her experience at the school had "caused additional trauma and anxiety" and that her "suicidal ideation" became more pronounced when she thought that this would continue to happen to her.
Hamilton County prosecutor Donald Clancy argued that the parents are basing their objections to the treatment on religious beliefs, not on the best interest of the child.
He noted that the father had testified that having the girl come home acting like a boy would "warp" her siblings' perception of reality.
The complaint also alleged that the father had told the teenager to kill herself because she "was going to hell anyway" for her refusal to accept her female biology.
Brinkman refuted Clancy's assertions, saying the parents' objection to transgender hormone treatment comes from medical study, as well as religious beliefs.
She contended that the parents "have done their due diligence contacting medical professionals, collecting thousands of hours of research and relying on ... their observation of their own child ... that led them to the conclusion that this is not in their child's best interest."
Jeffrey Cutcher, the grandparents' lawyer, had argued for a quick transfer of custody to the teenager's grandparents, asserting that it would prevent the girl from committing suicide.
"What we want to do in the coming months around May is plan for a high school graduation, throughout the summer and fall, plan for an entrance into college. We don't want to be planning for a funeral," the grandparents' lawyer said.