Australian court allows girl, 12, to change sex

Source: Straits Times/AFP
26 May 2008

Girl, 12, allowed to change sex

A 12-YEAR-OLD Australian girl has been allowed to begin the first phase of a sex change after a judge decided it was in the best interests of the child.

The unnamed girl has begun hormone treatment to block puberty after a family court judge in Sydney accepted an application from her mother for her to begin her sex change, the Sunday Herald-Sun reported.

The judge said that while the initial treatment was reversible, it needed to be seen as the first step in a process which, if continued, would allow the child to live as a male.

Last December, the court heard that the girl had thought of herself as a boy since the age of four.

A lawyer for the child, a family counsellor and several medical experts, including a psychiatrist, backed the sex-change application.

But the girl’s father could not accept that she had always seen herself as a boy and opposed the move, in part because of her young age.

But the court said it had to act quickly to prevent the onset of puberty as the girl dreaded the prospect of menstruation and developing breasts, the paper said.

She can now apply for a new birth certificate and passport in a boy’s name, the court ruled. More court applications must be made later if she wants to take the process further.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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