Friday, December 31, 2010

Australian teen with autism allowed to transition from male to female

From Press Trust of India:

MELBOURNE, Australia -- In an extraordinary case, a 16-year-old autistic schoolboy has been allowed by a court in Australia to become a woman on the condition that he gets his sperm frozen in case he wants to have children in the future.

A female judge in a Family Court has given her nod to the schoolboy, who was given the pseudonym "O", to begin drug treatment to become a woman before puberty fully takes hold, 'The Daily Telegraph' in Sydney reported.

Justice Linda Dessau said that the boy, who suffers from mild Asperger's syndrome, was mature enough to know what he wanted. She said her decision was backed by his parents, six specialists and the boy's independent lawyer. After hearing that the boy comes from a loving family who "adore and respect him", the judge said he's so desperate to become a girl that he had become suicidal and once took the extreme step of swallowing a lead solder at his school.

The court, however, said the boy would have his sperm collected and stored because of concerns the female hormones would affect his ability to have children. The judge has held the case in unprecedented secrecy to protect the boy's identity. She has not only suppressed his name but also those of his lawyers, his doctors, the hospital where he'll have treatment and the city in which the court sat.

It's not the first time that an Australian court has created controversy by allowing a minor to start hormone treatment to change sex. Six years ago, the Family court allowed 13-year-old girl "Alex" to begin hormone treatment to become a man. And, in another case, a 12-year-old girl was also allowed to take hormones to live life as a man.