A Christian family fear, that unless they allow their 14-year-old daughter 'Bethany' to change her name to 'Gary', (names changed for legal reasons in order to protect the anonymity of the child) that she might be taken into Foster Care.
The family, who previously home educated their children, are presently locked in a battle with a local council concerning their daughter 'Bethany'. The parents home schooled all their children until December 2015 when they placed their three younger children in local schools because they both returned to full time work.
Within a few months, Bethany decided that she wanted to be called Gary and started to dress as a boy. The parents became deeply concerned and sought professional help for Bethany because they had concerns about her mental health.
In the summer term the parents became increasingly concerned about Bethany’s dramatically changed behaviour, wanting to identify as a boy and as she started self-harming. When Bethany tried to run away Social Services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) became involved.
However, over the recent summer holidays when the social worker's involvement reduced, Bethany appeared to recover and stopped self-harming.
On Bethany's return to school in September, the social worker's involvement increased and Bethany's mental health again went downhill. The family were told by CAMHS that unless they allowed the name change, their daughter would be at risk of suicide.
The family now face a meeting with social workers in November, in which it is indicated and believed that the social worker will be pushing for Bethany to be allowed to use the name Gary in school and the family will be pressured into allowing her to receive 'therapy' from the Tavistock Institute in Leeds for its ‘Gender Identity Development Service’.
The parents have been told that their refusal to allow the name change is tantamount to 'neglect'. Some of the professional reports concerning Bethany, have already started to call her Gary. The parents' fear that should they not bow to the social workers demands that Bethany might be taken into foster care.
'Politically motivated ideology'
Bethany's mother comments: "We have been horrified with the prospect that the name that we gave our daughter with all the meaning that entails, will be stripped from her, all because of the social workers politically motivated ideology. Our daughter is mentally unwell, we believe that her present gender identity problems are part of her mental health problems. She should receive the appropriate help that she needs, rather than being forced into taking on a false identity. Our daughter is too young to make these decisions."
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'Forcing an agenda'
The Christian Legal Centre is supporting the family. Responding to this development Chief Executive, Andrea Williams said: "The new transgender cultural movement is tantamount to The Emperor’s New Clothes. In gender, there is an objective reality but forces are at work in seeking to undermine the obvious. The authorities are forcing an agenda that is untrue and harmful to our children.
"This case demonstrates a shocking disregard for parental authority; no one is listening to what the parents want or have to say; they know the child best; they have the child's best interests at heart.
"This is just another step in the wrong direction for our society. Before the law is even changed, politically motivated social workers are pushing their agenda on vulnerable families and young children. Children like Bethany need psychiatric help, not politically correct social workers forcing their politically correct agenda on families such as this. Unless misguided social workers such as the one involved here are stood up to they will wreck families. We stand side by side with this family and hope that the social workers involved and CAMHS see sense.
"It is very unfortunate that the social worker appears to have jumped to the conclusion that Bethany is transgender without even waiting for a formal diagnosis from the psychiatrist and therefore started to implement the changes that she sees fit. This is tantamount to passing sentence before the jury have returned with their verdict."