By Stephanie Curry, an attorney and policy manager for Family Policy Alliance
The parenting discussion my husband and I have never had—you may remember Family Policy Alliance’s Vice President of Strategy, Autumn Leva, sharing this story with us in June.
Of course, Autumn and her husband had discussed all the usual things when it comes to planning for children, yet they also realized that with the way culture is moving they needed to discuss something most of us would never dream of talking about with our spouses—what would we do if the state took away our children because of our faith?
Autumn and her husband wondered aloud about having a daughter. What if their daughter wanted to become a boy? They would teach and show their daughter how to love herself as a girl, because that’s who she was created to be.
Yet, what if the state could remove their daughter from their home because they wouldn’t allow her to take hormone-altering drugs that stop the natural onset of puberty or testosterone that would leave her sterile for the rest of her life and cause her to develop a deeper voice and facial hair?
What if Autumn and her husband believed the numbers, that over 90% of children outgrow their gender confusion by the time they reach adulthood without medical intervention? Yet, nearly all children whose hormones and natural development are (often irreversibly) altered by puberty-blockers or cross-sex hormones (like testosterone for girls or estrogen for boys) continue in gender confusion into adulthood.
What if the courts could give their daughter away to another family (in spite of the evidence) who would allow their daughter to transition to a “boy” through hormones and irreversible sex-reassignment surgery?
Regrettably, Autumn’s and her husband’s personal musings became a reality for Americans on February 16, 2018.
On Friday, February 16, Ohio parents lost custody of their beloved daughter (who says she’s a boy) because they refused to allow her to take cross-sex hormones and have sex-reassignment surgery. Cross-sex hormones would have caused several changes in their daughter including: facial hair growth, a lowered voice, a reduction in breast size, and giving her body a more masculine shape. Yet, her parents, after consulting with medical professionals and psychologists, believed it was not in the best interest of their daughter to allow her to make drastic, irreversible changes to her body before she even reached adulthood.
The teen had not only been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, but anxiety and depression as well. Her parents believed their daughter was not mentally healthy enough to consent to irreversible changes to her body and they believed the numbers above—that given more wide-ranging mental health interventions (that didn’t include drugs), their daughter would be able to work through not only her anxiety and depression but also her feelings of deep alienation from her body.
So, her parents refused to consent to pumping their daughter full of hormones (that have not even been tested for the purpose of “gender transition”), and the state of Ohio took away their daughter . . . and gave her to a family that would consent.
This is worth repeating. When Autumn originally wrote about this issue, it was Canada removing children from their own parents who refused to permit their children to irreversibly alter their bodies. Now, for the sake of an agenda advanced by LGBT activists, a court in the United States just removed a teen girl from her parents’ care for the same reason.
So what can we do when our own country’s Judicial Branch of government is permitting children to be taken from their homes for the sake of an activist agenda?
First, we can appeal to the People’s branch of government—the Legislative Branch—to fix the problem. This is why we have three branches of government in our country, so that when one tries to take too much power, another can restore it to its proper place.
Now is the time for state legislatures, especially in Ohio, to pass strong laws ensuring that our parental rights can never be stripped away so easily. This issue is a top priority for Family Policy Alliance. We promise to notify you when bad policies are being considered that would take away your parental rights and to help you fight against them. We also promise to work toward strong parental rights protections in every state.
Second, we can engage our church communities. Family Policy Alliance believes that the Church speaking Truth and Life back into our states and country is the only way to protect the values we hold dear—especially parental rights. Raising up a child according to God’s word is not a “political issue.” It is a biblical issue for which the Church can’t afford to sit on sidelines—because parents who raise their children according to God’s word and their churches’ guidance will be the first targets.
We pray you and your church will partner with us to protect the right of parents to raise up their children according to God’s word in your state.