Mother Denied Parental Rights over Transgender Teen Appeals Court Ruling

July 7, 2017

by Karen R. Effrem, MD


Last month, I described the bizarre and dangerous Minnesota federal court decision that “emancipated” a minor child from his mother, thereby denying her inherent parental right to direct the academic, medical, and other aspects of the care and upbringing of her own son — all without any of the due process normally involved in such situations.

Astonishingly, the court dismissed the case of this mother, Anmarie Calgaro, without even referencing or commenting on the Minnesota statute in question. This terrible law terminates these bedrock parental rights merely on the desire of a minor, without regard to age, if the minor can show financial independence and live on his or her own.

The judge actually said in his twisted ruling that absent a court order, “Calgaro’s parental rights over [her son] remain intact.” This is despite the fact that the school, the medical clinic, and the county have and continue, even after the ruling, to deny her information and consent for involvement in many critical aspects of her own son’s life.

The school district went on to say after the most recent denial of educational records:

Minnesota Statutes section 13.02 requires the District to withhold records from a parent when doing so is in the best interests of the student and the student requests that the District withhold those records.

According to the Minnesota Child Protection League (CPL), an organization which has been supporting Ms. Calgaro’s efforts, attorneys for the district made the situation painfully worse:

Attorneys for the school district went on to state that, since Calgaro had filed a lawsuit to assert her parental rights, her request should be denied in order to protect her son from “further harm.”  Consider that. The school administration is empowered to decide that Calgaro is harmful to her son because she challenged the violation of her parental rights in court.

Thankfully, this case has been appealed. Michele Lentz, president of the CPL, made the following statement:

We are encouraged and excited about this appeal,” stated Child Protection League President Michele Lentz. This lawsuit was first filed because each of those entities deprived this mother of her constitutional parental rights by treating her son as an emancipated minor. The federal court was asked to declare that her due process rights under the 14th amendment of the Constitution were being violated and to fully restore them. The ruling to dismiss those charges had to be appealed!

No hearing date has been set yet. And even though the teen turns eighteen this month, Calgaro’s attorney Erick Kardaal, stated that the fundamental issues in this case keep it from becoming “moot” on the son’s birthday. He is strongly confident that the situation is “capable of repetition,” meaning that it will most likely happen again to other families.

In the meantime, the secondary but still very important issue of this teen using his “emancipation” to continue his quest to change his sex to match his gender identity, which is the opposite of his biological sex, proceeds in a national storm of controversy.

Noted feminist and leftist, Camille Paglia made some startling statements in a recent interview in The Weekly Standard and analyzed by Andrea Moury at The National Pulse:

…I condemn the escalating prescription of puberty blockers (whose long-term effects are unknown) for children. I regard this practice as a criminal violation of human rights…

…It is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender. Biology has been programmatically excluded from women’s studies and gender studies programs for almost 50 years now. Thus very few current gender studies professors and theorists, here and abroad, are intellectually or scientifically prepared to teach their subjects.

The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible. Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one’s birth gender for life. Intersex ambiguities can occur, but they are developmental anomalies that represent a tiny proportion of all human births.

A pediatrician, Dr. Michelle Critella, essentially agrees with Paglia and has courageously spoken out against the dangerous orthodoxy being imposed on current practitioners by major pediatric medical societies:

As explained in my 2016 peer reviewed article, “Gender Dysphoria in Children and Suppression of Debate,” professionals who dare to question the unscientific party line of supporting gender transition therapy will find themselves maligned and out of a job

…Two leading pediatric associations—the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society—have followed in lockstep, endorsing the transition affirmation approach even as the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on low evidence.

They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.

The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.

(The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who “consistently and persistently insists” on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.)

Finally, Dr. Susan Berry chronicles another case of social emotional learning (SEL) standards being used to push a political agenda — this time, the controversial LGBTQ agenda in a sex education curriculum developed by Planned Parenthood and being considered for adoption in a Washington school district:

Last year, the state of Washington released new health and physical education standards that promote gender fluid and transgender ideology throughout grades K-12. A “core idea” in the standards is that children in kindergarten need to “understand there are many ways to express gender.”

The standards name “self-identity” as a topic of the “core idea” of the K-12 curriculum, and define gender as a “social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex.”

The Washington standards are based on the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model, which supposedly aims to “improve each child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.”

Fortunately, public outcry has helped to delay the vote on this curriculum adoption.

However, the Calgaro case, combined with all of these examples of radical transgender activism, highlight how very tenuous parental rights, freedom of conscience, and the health and safety of our children really are — that is, unless parents, professionals and all citizens stand for truth and reject this dangerous ideology.


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.

Archive: Karen R. Effrem, MD

One comment on “Mother Denied Parental Rights over Transgender Teen Appeals Court Ruling”

  • Deborah Guebert says:

    Thank you, Karen, for your steadfast support for real education and the true welfare of children.

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