Australia was the last place in the world transgender children needed court authorisation to receive Stage 2 hormone treatment, even if they or their parents consented to the procedure.
That’s now no longer the case thanks to a landmark decision in the country’s Family Court on Thursday, ending the need for the unnecessary and stressful legal process.
Since 2013, it’s been a requirement that courts need to approve Stage 2 treatment.
Stage 2 hormone treatment involves the administration of oestrogen or testosterone, allowing an adolescent to develop the pubertal characteristics of the gender they associate with. It follows Stage 1 hormone treatment, which delays puberty.
The decision responds to a case, Re Kelvin, which involves a 16-year old boy only known as “Kelvin,” who was assigned female at birth.
“Kelvin” has been formally diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and despite bot, his parents consented to him receiving Stage 2 hormone treatment, he still needed court approval.
Of course, the court process takes an extraordinary toll on transgender teens. As the court notes, if Kelvin were not to receive treatment “his overall health and wellbeing are almost certain to deteriorate especially as his mental and physical health is heavily dependent on the perception of himself as male.”
Since 2013, more than 60 applications for treatment have been approved by the Family Court, and Thursday’s decision eliminates the stress of the legal system.