Family Court of Australia: Re Sally (Special Medical Procedure) [2010] FamCA 237

This judgement of the Family Court of Australia is an interesting one. We are informed by OII members elsewhere that infants with 5-ARD in those countries are subjected to surgery and hormone treatment to “turn them into boys” based on the presence of a Y chromosome.

We are further informed that in the UK, under the Gender Recognition Act 2004, individuals with 5-ARD will only be recognized as male even when they are female.

A British OII member thus finds herself unable to correct her documentation to recognize the fact that she is female but must endure being misclassified as male and treated as if she is transsexual.

It is encouraging that an Australian court and medical practitioners have not applied a one-size-fits-all paradigm in this instance and that they have taken the wishes of the individual into account.

IT IS ORDERED THAT

1. Pursuant to section 67ZC of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth):

a. That the proposed surgery for the child SALLY born in 1995, being the bilateral removal of her gonads (“gonadectomy”), as outlined in the affidavits of Dr X and Dr Y, be permitted to occur and so as to give effect to same, that procedure and such further or other necessary and consequential procedures to give effect to the treatment of Sally for her condition of 5-alpha reductase deficiency (including but not limited to the cosmetic treatment as outlined in the affidavits of Dr X and Dr Y) may be authorised by the said child’s parents.

b. The written authority of the said child’s said parents shall be sufficient so as to authorise all scientists, doctors and other medical practitioners to conduct all such operations and procedures as are authorised by these orders.

Family Court of Australia: Re: Sally (Special Medical Procedure) [2010] FamCA 237