An Ohio Christian couple were temporarily denied custody of their daughter last week, after refusing her prescribed transgender hormone medication.

In 2016, their unnamed daughter was hospitalized and diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and gender dysphoria, defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.” Her medical team claim that her parents treating her as a girl has triggered suicidal ideations, and that she should immediately start transgender hormone therapy.

Because her parents refused her the medication, temporary custody was granted to Hamilton, Ohio County Job and Family Services who placed the girl with her maternal grandparents who support her transgender identity.

Paul Hunt, attorney for Hamilton County Job and Family Services, testified that the grandparents are more open to the treatment:

“We think the grandparents are the ones who have an open mind and will … make this sort of decision best for the child. The parents have clearly indicated that they’re not open to it”

According to the parent’s attorney Karen Brinkman, they do not believe their daughter “is even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time.”

In the courtroom, the parent’s open Christian faith was used against them, with Donald Clancy of the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office saying the parent’s are not basing their decisions on the best interests of the child, but religious beliefs:

“[The] father testified that any kind of transition at all would go against his core beliefs and allowing the child to transition would be akin to him taking his heart out of his chest and placing it on the table.”

However, Karen Brinkman argues that the parents “fully accept” their child, and their objection to transgender hormone therapy is based not only on religious belief, but they

“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.”

The juvenile court judge of the case has called the entire situation an “obviously a gut-wrenching situation for all of you to face,” and will issue a final ruling on permanent custody this Friday.

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