A Minnesota mother is suing school and county officials who granted her minor-aged son's request for a sex-change, without her consent.
The case was brought by Anmarie Calgaro against St. Louis County and several agencies "for usurping her parental rights over her minor son, providing him with transgender services and narcotic drugs."
According to the Thomas More Society, which represents the mother, the defendants handled the minor, now 17, "as an emancipated minor despite no court action to that effect."
Special Counsel Erick Kaardal argued in court that the county and others, including medical agencies and the school district, "did not provide notice or hearing to Calgaro prior to terminating her parental rights over her minor child."
He pointed out that notice would have been required in marital dissolution, paternity or child protection cases and asked, "Why is it not required in emancipation?"
Kaardal said the service providers were stepping into a governmental role but not providing parental due process, creating a constitutional concern.
Defendants include St. Louis County, St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services director, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis County School District, the principal of the Cherry School and the minor son, whose name is not being disclosed in this report.
Kaardal said: "Ms. Calgaro is living a parent's worst nightmare. Her son has, while a minor, been steered through a life-changing, permanent body-altering process by organizations that have no reason to have his best interests in mind.
"With no parental involvement, this child has become a pawn in someone else's agenda, influenced by those who have no right to make decisions over his life and well-being. These institutions have no right, legally or morally, to usurp the place of a parent," he said.
The legal team explained the defendants in June 2015 told the son he was emancipated, even though there was no court order or legal action.
"He was then provided with medical treatment for a sex change from male to female and also prescribed narcotics. The school district has classified the boy as an adult with exclusive rights to information and decision-making and denied Calgaro access to his educational records or any legal authority to affect his educational decision-making," the legal team explained.
The London Daily Mail reported the minor son's lurid claims that his mother and stepfather engaged in drug activity and abused him.
But the paper also said Calgaro described herself as a loving mother, even though the son, E.J.K., had been living on his own for two years.
The son claimed his mother and stepfather "became mentally and physically abusive."
The lawsuit seeks damages from the county, the health agencies and others.
"To treat a minor child without either parental consent or a court order of emancipation is a violation of the trust placed upon the human service sector and its governmental oversight agencies. To give a parent no recourse to intervene in this situation is an egregious violation of constitutional rights," Brejcha said.
When the case first appeared in court, a district judge refused the juvenile's petition for a change of name, from a male to a female name, for "lack of any adjudication relative to emancipation."
Kaardal explained then: "Ms. Calgaro as a Minnesota parent is entitled to notice and hearing when parental rights regarding a minor child are terminated. Regarding emancipation, the courts recognize a common-law right for a teenager to petition for emancipation; but, the courts do not recognize a corresponding common-law right for a parent to petition to de-emancipate a teenager. Thus, Minnesota statutes constitutionally err by allowing a medical service provider to treat a teenager as emancipated without a court order and without providing parents a post-deprivation process to challenge the medical service provider's determination of emancipation. Similarly, the county's and school district's determinations of the teenager's emancipation without a court order violate the parent's right to notice and a hearing; but, unlike the medical service providers, the county and the school district do not have a statute to pin their unconstitutional conduct on."