Tuesday, January 31, 2017

British Court Denies Transgender Parent Contact With Children Because of Religious Community's Reaction

A British Family Court in J v. B and the Children, (EWFC, Jan. 30, 2017), has rejected the petition of an Orthodox Jewish father, a member of the Manchester Charedi community who left home to live as a transgender woman, to have direct contact with his five children.  The court limited the father's contact to letters four times a year to the children. The court said in part:
These parents decided to bring up their children according to the narrow ways of the community, and they continue to agree about this. That being the case, the priority must be to sustain the children in the chosen way of life, preserving their existing family and social networks and their education.... Contact carries the clear risk that the children and their mother will become the next casualties in a collision between two unconnecting worlds. The father has already experienced the consequences of that collision, and no one knows better than she does how very painful they can be.....
I have reached the unwelcome conclusion that the likelihood of the children and their mother being marginalised or excluded by the ultra‐Orthodox community is so real, and the consequences so great, that this one factor, despite its many disadvantages, must prevail over the many advantages of contact.
The Guardian reports on the decision. [Thanks to Mel Kaufman and Paul deMello for the lead.]