A Finnish couple living in an unspecified EU country have lost custody rights over their underage daughter because they did not let her start hormone treatment ahead of a sex change, national broadcaster Yle reported.
15-year-old girl “Nea” (a pseudonym) told her parents that she was a boy and demanded hormone therapy to start the transition process as fast as possible and her intention to remove her breasts. The parents said she also started to dress in a masculine way and completely changed her circle of friends.
By the parents' admission, they warned “Nea” that sex change is a complex and traumatising procedure, and that some of its effects are irreversible. They suggested waiting until the school year's end, going back to Finland, undergoing a thorough medical examination, and learning more about the consequences of getting a sex change.
However, “Nea”, with the help of a representative from a local trans organisation, went to the police and reported her parents for opposing her gender reassignment procedures. The authorities in the unnamed EU country supported the underage girl.
“Obviously, it feels bad when your own daughter does this to you, but the worst thing was that the authorities agreed. We were naive and thought that the doctors and the authorities would talk sense. It was a big mistake,” dad “Kari” told Yle.
“Nea” was forcibly removed from the family and placed in a care centre, following which she embarked on hormone replacement therapy. According to Yle, her voice has already changed due to her testosterone intake, and she has gained weight and experienced hair growth. Some of the effects are irreversible.
“Without over-dramatising, you can say that when the voice, appearance and personality have changed, it is as if they have killed our child,” Kari said.
But according to the chief psychiatrist and professor of youth psychiatry at Tampere University Hospital, Riittakerttu Kaltiala, Finnish authorities would hardly have acted in the same way as in the unnamed EU country.
However, Kaltiala pointed out that Finland has experienced a surge in young girls who suddenly begin to identify as boys and request a sex change. Kaltiala attributed the increase to increased awareness and higher tolerance in society, but also social networking. Kaltiala noticed that young people who are up for a sex change are often from the same school or area, which indicates a desire for belonging.
Nea's parents reportedly tried to get help from the Finnish authorities, but it did not work, as everything happened in another EU country.
As of today, they have no contact with their daughter and don't know where she has been placed. The parents also abstained from turning to the law to regain custody, since the daughter, who now identifies as male, will soon be of legal age.
Amid a rising trend of “regretters”, Helsinki University Hospital has started a study to map out the number of people who have second thoughts after undergoing gender reassignment and request a reversal amid transitioning procedures.