Trans child committed to mental institution

Activists protest German court's decision to institutionalize an 11-year-old transgender child

Trans child committed to mental institution
26 March 2012

Activists will protest a German court’s decision to commit an 11-year-old trans child to a mental institution.

Alex Kaminsky currently lives with her mother, who supports her gender identification as transsexual.

However, her divorced father objects to his child's decision and, after the advice of a new nurse working on the case, the Youth Welfare Office in Berlin obtained a court order, allowing them to hospitalize Alex.

The nurse claimed that the mother had ‘induced’ the child’s transsexuality and therefore Alex had to be removed from her sphere of influence.

Despite an appeal by the mother, Berlin’s Kammergericht court ruled on Thursday (23 March) that Alex can be forcibly institutionalized in the Berlin Charité hospital, according to German lifestyle magazine Naz.

The Kaminskys’ lawyer called the ruling ‘startling’ and said: ‘The view that transsexuality can be induced over years without any resistance is nowhere represented in the expert literature. That is an invention of the nurse.’

Activists are outraged by the decision and will protest outside the Berlin senatorial department for youth today (26 March) at 3pm.

The ‘Stop Alex forced institutionalization at once’ group say it is ‘not an isolated story’.

Their appeal states that, ‘Institutions like the youth office and the Charité use force on humans through enforcement and psychological pressure. Each gender and each gender identity is a right, not a disease.’

More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition against the decision.

And the Brussels-based International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) have expressed their concern for the child's welfare.

In a statement, the gay rights group called on the Berlin authorities to intervene with the actions of the Youth Welfare Office and stop the removal of the child from her mother.

‘We find it extremely irresponsible and unacceptable to remove any child from a loving and supportive home without thorough research and consultation with experts.’

The group added: ‘We would like to highlight the endangerment of forced "therapy" to make children fit into the gender roles the society thinks are right for them.

‘IGLYO follows the wealth of research that shows that reparative therapy regarding sexual orientation or gender identity can be seriously harmful to the child.’

The Kampinsky lawyer says he will appeal to the Verfassungsgericht constitutional court.

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