Federal Court Upholds Child’s “Emancipation” from Mother by State Agencies

June 2, 2017

by Karen R. Effrem, MD


The State of Minnesota is rapidly earning the dubious distinction of leading the nation in the destruction of parental rights and autonomy. A federal district court judge just dismissed a mother’s lawsuit, essentially upholding Minnesota’s very harmful and unconstitutional “emancipation statute” that allows minor children — with the aid of outside groups — to leave their families whenever there is conflict, as long as the child is living independently and can support himself or herself. This removes parents from decision-making or receiving information about their child’s schooling, medical care, or emotional health, and it is all done without a court hearing and due process.

Anmarie Calgaro filed a lawsuit in federal district court last November with the support of the Minnesota Child Protection League (CPL) and the Thomas More Law Center, because her son had received a “Notice of Emancipation” from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, a nonprofit agency that provides free legal services to low income people. County agencies then set him up in independent housing, got him a driver’s license and provided other services — including medical care — all without the mother’s consent and while refusing to give her any records.

Tragically, the judge dismissed the lawsuit in what CPL describes as “a bizarre and contradictory ruling”:

“Only a court order can do so [terminate Calgaro’s parental rights]”, wrote Judge Magnuson. “Absent that, Calgaro’s parental rights over [her son] remain intact. The court will therefore not further entertain Calgaro’s characterization of Defendants’ actions as ‘determining [her son] emancipated.’”

CPL asks the proper and logical question and describes the disturbing ramifications of this ruling:

How do Calgaro’s parental rights “remain intact” when she has been denied access to his school and medical records, and the organizations she named in her lawsuit have treated her minor son as “emancipated” for two years?

…Anmarie Calgaro appealed to a federal court because her parental rights, and the rights of numerous other Minnesota parents, have been violated, but, incredibly, no state law has been broken. However, it is abundantly clear, her constitutional 14th amendment rights to due process have indeed been violated. And the court refused to address this issue.

They also brought up the stark political ramifications:

Perhaps Calgaro’s case was too politically hot for the court to handle, because her minor son had also decided to be treated with hormones in an effort to ‘change’ his biological sex and to change his name. Ironically, two different courts refused to grant him a legal name change, because he did not have parental permission!

As much as the media would like to make you believe it, his sexual confusion is not the heart of this case.

This case challenges a Minnesota state law that violates the rights of parents to have their day in court if their minor child desires emancipation and immunity from his parents’ supervision and authority.

Although agreeing that the heart of the case is not gender confusion, if this ruling stands, the implications for the loss of parental involvement in the health care of her son that Ms. Calgaro underwent in this case are severe and dangerous. The son was given narcotics and dangerous, life-altering hormones to begin the transition from male to female.  According to the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), this is very harmful:

Pre-pubertal children diagnosed with gender dysphoria may be given puberty blockers as young as eleven, and will require cross-sex hormones in later adolescence to continue impersonating the opposite sex. These children will never be able to conceive any genetically related children even via artificial reproductive technology. In addition, cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer…

…Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.

This is especially tragic, because according to both the ACP and former Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry, Dr. Paul McHugh, citing The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, “as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty,” and the suicide rate is 20 times higher for gender dysphoric adults who have undergone hormone treatment and sex reassignment surgery even in very LGBTQ-friendly countries like Sweden.

This case will be appealed. You can go here for more details.

As stated earlier, Minnesota seems to be setting a trend. There is similar case in Oregon, where a mother is suing a school district because teachers are alleged in a just-filed lawsuit to have:

…schemed to terminate Leontiev’s parental rights and temporarily turn Leontiev’s son over to his estranged biological father. That would set up the teacher to eventually adopt the 10th grader, it said. The child, identified only as FV, is transgender and identifies as a boy.

The other way that Minnesota is trampling on parental rights is by ignoring the Trump administration’s rescission of the dangerous and lawless Obama administration’s Title IX “guidance” on transgender students and athletes. Instead, the Minnesota Department of Education is bullying school boards and other school officials into believing that the Obama edict is still in place and that, legally, they must comply. The harmful implications to parental rights are also severe:

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is only weeks away from distributing a state directive to ALL Minnesota schools to allow boys and girls to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers according to their perceived gender identity…it even goes so far as to direct schools to house students according to how they identify for overnight accommodations when sports teams travel! And no parents or students are required to be notified in advance!

This, of course, flies in the face of the due process and equal protection rights guaranteed under the 14th Amendment as well as numerous Supreme Court precedents protecting the inherent rights of parents to raise and educate their children as they see fit.

Kudos to brave parents and organizations like CPL and the American Principles Project for standing up to radical groups and big government trying to destroy the traditional family and parental rights. Please support them and be on the alert for the same in your own communities.


Dr. Karen Effrem is trained as a pediatrician and serves as president of Education Liberty Watch and the executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.

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