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[personal profile] kaberett
This post is a translation of an article originally found at taz.de. A petition is available at change.org, with over 22,000 signatures at time of writing. I believe my translation is true to the tone of the original article; where I've made additional notes, they're in square brackets. Feel free to link wherever.

Alex is transsexual – she feels she's a girl, and indeed lives as one. Now a court has decided that her mother “induced” the transexuality, and the child is being placed in psychiatric care.

The Berlin superior Court of Justice decided on Thursday that the transsexual [feminine pronouns!] Alex Kaminski (name changed) can legally be admitted to psychiatric care. The mother of the eleven year old appealed against the decision of the Children's Welfare Office and lost. Her lawyer announced that they will be taking this ruling to the constitutional court.

The child, who has felt like a girl for her entire life and is currently living as one, may now be forced to be committed to the Berliner Charite [a university hospital]. The Children's Welfare Office was enabled to make this decision because the child's parents, who live separately, have contradictory opinions about appropriate medical management. As such the responsibility for the child's healthcare is transferred to the CWO. A CWO carer [poss. nurse] came to the decision that Alex should be taken into inpatient care in the Charite, and eventually be moved to a foster family.

The carer was of the opinion that the mother had “induced” the child's transsexuality, and that Alex therefore needed to be removed from her influence. In the Charite, the aim of the therapy would be to bring Alex closer to his “biological” sex and to “suppress” [prohibit/disable/eliminate...] the “atypical gender presentation” [nb the original refers to sex presentation], explains the head doctor Klaus Beier. A sexual sciences expert from Hamburg, Herta Richter-Appelt, describes this as an “antiquated point of view”. A forced admission [to hospital] strikes her as unwise. As for the question of whether the mother induced the transsexuality – that can be addressed perfectly well in an outpatient setting.

No expert opinion required

Mother and daughter are pleading for expert psychiatric advice. The superior court of justice has however now refused the option of an expert opinion. An assessment is not necessary, quotes the family's lawyer from the ruling. The assessment performed by the carer [nurse] is documented, and the target inpatient diagnostics are at her discretion [?? - not sure I've got this sentence right]. In counterpart, the mother is accused of aiming to take the child to the university clinics in Hamburg and Frankfurt-am-Main – the only places in Germany specialising in transsexuality in children and young adults.

The Kaminski's lawyer calls the ruling “shocking”. “The notion that transsexuality can be 'induced' over the course of years without resistence or protest is nowhere to be found in the scientific literature on the subject. This is an invention of this particular nurse.” The nurse has only talked to the child on one occasion, for just one hour - but this point was ignored.

Both lawyer and family now wish to go before the Federal Constitutional Court. In matters concerning rights of care this court can make very rapid decisions, according to the lawyer – and in Karlsruhe [location of the court?] the rights of children are generally taken very seriously.

International campaign

Alex is also getting support from human rights activists. At 3pm on Monday the “Action Alliance Alex” will hold a demonstration in front of the Berlin Administrative Headquarters for Children, with the motto “put an immediate end to the forced psychiatric pathologisation of Alex!” “This isn't a solitary story,” reads the call to action. “Institutes like the CWO and Charite practice violence against people using force and psychological pressure! Every sex and every gender identity is a right – not an illness.”

There is also a petition underway, started by the British transsexual activist Katrine Swales on Change.org. Addressed to the Klaus Wowereit, mayor of Berlin, it reads: “This young girl will be told that her feelings are wrong. and pushed even further into the denial that has already claimed the lives of so many transsexuals.” Over 9,000 people have already signed [22,000 at time of translation!].

And Alex? Just wants to get through this crisis with the help of a therapist. But the Youth Welfare Office won't even let her do that.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-31 10:44 pm (UTC)
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
From: [personal profile] askygoneonfire
This article makes me feel desperately, desperately sad.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-03 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tamouse
oh ghods, i don' even, i can't deal, WE ARE FUCKING PROPERTY


FUCK THE STATE

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