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Grandparents awarded child custody of transgender teenager

In the majority of disputes over who should be the primary caregiver of a child, the parties usually involved consist of the biological mother and father. There are others types of child custody cases, however, and a family court judge is often in the position to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected. South Carolina residents who find themselves in a conflict over these issues may be best served by contacting an attorney before any formal hearings.

Recently, a family court judge decided that awarding custody of a 17-year-old teenager to the grandparents was the best course. The dispute arose over the issue of whether the teenager should be permitted to pursue hormone treatments in order to accommodate his feelings of identifying as a male. The teen's parents purportedly refused to allow the treatments in spite of the opinions of medical providers.

According to the report, the parents' prohibition resulted in the teenager suffering suicidal thoughts and despondency. The grandparents are now permitted to help make any necessary medical decisions. Along with the authority to those medical decisions, the grandparents can help their grandchild petition for a legal name change to help with his transformation. 

Even though the court ruled in favor of the grandparents' child custody petition, the judge ordered that the child undergo an evaluation by an independent psychologist before any treatment therapy is initiated. The judge stated that such an evaluation can assure that the child's gender identification is consistent. Though this case is out of the ordinary, it is not unusual for other relatives to seek custody of a child who may not be thriving in his or her current living arrangements. South Carolina residents who may be seeking custody of child -- whether due to divorce or other compelling reasons -- may benefit from seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. 

Source: CNN, "Judge gives grandparents custody of Ohio transgender teen", Jen Christensen, Feb. 16, 2018

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