Masters of Their Own Destiny: Children's Identities, Parents’ Assimilation Demands and State Intervention
68 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2013 Last revised: 19 Sep 2013
Date Written: August 13, 2013
Parents’ assimilation demands compromise children’s healthy identity development and attachments with parents. For LGBT youth in particular, rejection from families heightens their vulnerability to negative health, legal and economic outcomes, yet leaves them under-protected by the legal system. So far, children who have experienced family mistreatment in the form of heteronormative assimilation demands on their sexual orientation or gender identity have been unable to mobilize courts to understand why assimilation demands are harmful and how to protect children from such mistreatment. Thus assimilation demands that undermine children’s identities and are harmful to their wellbeing should be recognized as an additional exception to parental rights. Rather than suggesting assimilation demands are a form of emotional abuse, this Article recommends a new framework – family in need of services – that could empower children to seek state intervention that would help families support LGBT youth and facilitate family cohesion.
Keywords: Parental Rights, LGBT youth, Assimilation Demands, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Attachment, Identity Development, Identity Interests, Abuse, Neglect, Child in Need of Services, Child in Need of Supervision, Family, Mediation
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