…boy aged seven has been removed from his mother’s care following concerns that she was forcing him to live “life entirely as a girl”.
Mr Justice Hayden said the woman had caused her son “significant emotional harm” after becoming “absolutely convinced” that the youngster “perceived himself as a girl” and was determined that he should be a girl.
Complaints from the father prompted a three-year legal battle, the details of which emerged yesterday in the judgment of the Family Division of the High Court in London.
The boy’s parents had separated some years ago but after the courts became aware the father was being denied contact a “wide ranging” inquiry was ordered and local authority social services staff had begun investigations.
“[His mother] told me that [he] was ‘living in stealth’, by which was meant, she explained, that he was living life entirely as a girl,” said Mr Justice Hayden in the written ruling.
“He dressed, at all times, like a girl and, it transpired, had been registered at a new general practitioner’s as a girl.”
The judge added: “I was also left in no doubt that [the mother] was absolutely convinced that [the boy] perceived himself as a girl.”
Mr Justice Hayden said his “overwhelming impression” was that the woman “believes herself to be to fighting for [her son’s] right to express himself as a girl”. He said the woman had told him how the boy “expressed disdain for his penis”.
The judge added: “I consider that [the mother] has caused significant emotional harm to [her son] in her active determination that he should be a girl.”
Mr Justice Hayden said: “I have noted from reports that [the boy] has become interested in Power Rangers, SpongeBob, Superheroes and is constantly finding new interests …
“It is striking that most of [the boy’s] interests are male-oriented. I am entirely satisfied, both on the basis of the reports and [the father’s] evidence at this hearing, that he has brought no pressure on [the boy] to pursue masculine interests. [The boy’s] interests and energy are entirely self-motivated.”
He said a report by the council’s social services department showed that concerns had been raised about the boy in 2013. Later in 2014, a health centre had added to a “clamour of concern”. A GP had requested that a social worker visit the child due to concerns around the boy possibly having gender identity disorder. No further action had been taken.
He added: “This local authority has consistently failed to take appropriate intervention.”