A judge has removed a seven-year-old boy from his mother’s care, after she forced him to live “entirely as a girl”.
In a significant ruling, High Court judge Mr Justice Hayden said the child had sustained a “great deal of emotional harm” when his mother forced him to wear dresses and nail varnish, and even registered him as a girl at a doctor’s surgery.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now living with his father.
His parents separated in 2009 and originally agreed to look after him cooperatively. However, the arrangement broke down in 2013 and his father lost contact with him.
By then, aged just 4, the mother had already sent him to his primary school wearing a pink hairband and nail varnish. She told teachers that he was “gender non-conforming”.
Social services received several warnings about his welfare but failed to follow up on them. The court revealed that after one visit to the family, social workers concluded that there were “no evident concerns”.
Handing down the ruling, Mr Justice Hayden said the case was not about gender dysphoria, but “about a mother who has developed a belief structure which she has imposed upon her child”.
“I am bound to say that had the concerns been given the weight that they plainly should have, it is difficult to resist the conclusion the boy could have been spared a great deal of emotional harm.”
Remarking that transsexualism has received a “great deal of attention in recent times”, he added that the social workers “failed properly to investigate the mother’s assertions, in part I suspect, because they did not wish to appear to be challenging an emerging orthodoxy in such a high-profile issue”.
The judge revealed that the boy is now interested in more traditional boys’ things, and stressed that his “interests and energy are entirely self-motivated” – not due to pressure to “pursue masculine interests”.
He is happier but still seriously affected by his confused early experiences.