Respecting and Protecting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children in Family Courts

Claire Houston, "Respecting and Protecting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children in Family Courts" (2020) 33:1 Can J Fam L 103

57 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020

See all articles by Claire Houston

Claire Houston

Faculty of Law - Western University

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Family court judges are increasingly being asked to resolve parenting disputes involving conflict over a child’s gender expression or identity. These disputes ask whether it is in the best interests of children to support their gender nonconformity, including any decision to transition to a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth. Despite more of these cases coming before family courts, judges have little guidance on how to resolve these cases in the best interests of children. Drawing on medical and social science literature and reported decisions, and applying a robust theory of children’s participation rights, this article offers a number of suggestions for resolving parental conflicts over a child’s gender, including hearing and placing significant weight on the views and preferences of the child, and presuming that supporting a child’s gender nonconformity is in the child’s best interests.

Keywords: Family law; children's rights; transgender

JEL Classification: K36

Suggested Citation

Houston, Claire, Respecting and Protecting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children in Family Courts (2020). Claire Houston, "Respecting and Protecting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children in Family Courts" (2020) 33:1 Can J Fam L 103, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3707382

Claire Houston (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law - Western University ( email )

1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario N6A3K7
Canada

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