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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Pro-trans parents won't get custody edge in California

Mom wants to start "Oliver" on puberty blockers. Dad thinks "Olivia" should go through puberty before deciding whether to be male, female or non-binary. If they decide to split up, which parent should get custody?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill that would have required judges to consider which parent was more gender affirming. in awarding custody.

Does this mean Newsom is running for president? Does it mean we've reached peak transgenderism? Only time will tell, as we used to say in my editorial writing days. (We actually tried to avoid writing this.)

Under existing law, judges must consider "the health, safety, and welfare of the child," Newsom pointed out in a statement. Singling out gender identity could backfire, he wrote. "Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities."

In some states, "gender affirming care" -- that is, putting a child on puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones -- is considered child abuse.

The "science" on what's best for children with gender dysphoria is far from settled, writes Leor Sapir in City Journal. "Five decades of research have shown that most children with cross-sex feelings and desires, including children with gender dysphoria, outgrow their distress by adulthood, typically during puberty," he writes. "Clinicians have long supported, and many still support, 'watchful waiting' as the appropriate response to childhood gender dysphoria."

"I have navigated a lifetime of physical, cognitive and psychological problems because my puberty was blocked -- by my own body -- until I was 16," writes James Linehan on Lisa Selin Davis' BROADview. He was born with a nonfunctional pituitary gland that doctors are now recreating in healthy children, he writes. Doctors are "starving them of hormones that their body needs . . . as if they forgot that the problems caused by hormone imbalances during puberty manifest later in life, and that side effects often happen downstream."

Linehan has been on medication for 40 years, he writes. "If you give a child with gender dysphoria puberty blockers, that’s a whole other endocrine disease you just added to their list of problems."


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