FaCs you're either my parents or not! Remove the family court for trans youth in OOHC
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My name’s Travis I'm a 15 year old brotherboy (Aboriginal Transgender female to male), I'm also a ward of the state meaning my parental responsibility is with the NSW family and community services minister. I have a very interesting case that is starting up around the barriers of being in foster care and accessing blockers. Where my rights are being denied, discrimination is being produced towards me and other trans young people because we aren't living with our birth parents, and outright irrelevant procedures for a therapeutic reversible medication that will pretty much save lives and better our mental health.
My mother lost parental responsibility of me when I was 8 months old as a result of her neglecting me and using substances. When I was younger I apparently saw her on a frequent basis especially when my little brother was born. Then at 6 yrs old I moved to Port Macquarie and haven't seen her since.
My father was unknown up until 2 years ago when DNA testing was done to confirm so. I've seen him 3 times since he was identified as my father as I don’t want to be around someone with a negative vibe and potential risk to my safety.
So the relationship between my mother and father is the equivalent of being strangers. If I was to walk down the street they wouldn't know who I was let alone even talk to me.
I was placed with multiple family members and one foster family from the ages of 8 months old to 12 years of age. This is when I was placed into the out of home care system, so far I've had 9 foster care placements, another kinship placement from Gold Coast to Melbourne and from February this year I've been residing in residential care on the far north coast.
At ages 4 and 5 I started stealing my brothers clothes and it grew from this. I always thought I was a boy but didn't realise what was going on. Throughout my placements I copped a lot of transphobia and abuse because I wasn't feminine enough for them. I also went through the phase of just agreeing with the adults around me just to see if what they were saying was true. Well that lasted less then 5 minutes as I instantly broke down in tears and literally tore my clothes off.
This time last year I formally came out because I moved to a new state and felt comfortable to do so. Then early this year the placement broke down and I got moved back to the northern rivers in a resi house.
In June this year I started attending Brisbane’s lady Cilento gender clinic in hopes to start the whole process to access stage one and two treatments. Everything was ready to go for stage one treatment (Puberty Blockers) until it reached FaCs legal department. This is what came back
FACS Legal advised that in the matter of in the matter of Re Jamie (2013) FamCAFC 110, (“Re Jamie”) the Full Court made specific a couple of references to children in out of home care. After receiving the decision of Re Jamie, a detailed briefing was prepared for the Secretary which he subsequently endorsed. The briefing advised:
“If the Director-General or Minister (or other government department) is a legal guardian for a child with gender dysphoria, then for abundant caution application should still be made to the Court for authorisation of Stage 1 treatment in addition to the assessment of capacity for Stage 2 treatment. The reason for this is that the Full Court distinguished cases where the child is in the care of a public authority as opposed to a parent.”
There is a risk that the parents do not agree with Travis commencing Stage 1 treatment and this would constitute a controversy or disagreement in Re Jamie terms and an application to the Family Court of Australia is required for the authorisation of Stage 1 treatment.
Basically, what they want is opinions off my mother and father. But here’s the problem, FaCs took me off my mum at 8 months old, parental responsibility has been with the NSW minister ever since until I’m 18 years of age.
I’ve seen my mum 5 times, and my father twice in my 15 years!
Does this mean that they should be getting my “birth parents” opinion on where I’m living too? I also had irreversible surgery on my eye and leg, they didn’t get my parents say and that is irreversible puberty blockers are reversible.
In saying this, I'm hoping you the reader will take 2 seconds to fill the form out and help us out! With my case I have an appointment with the clinic next week and ill see what happens from there but, even if medical opinions suggests delaying and suppressing the medication will impact the child's wellbeing/safety and I don't have to go to court, I am determined to change the briefing regards to trans youth subjected to FaCs.
Myself and the help of others are currently working together gaining a team of NGO's, government bodies, legal representatives, and organisations to challenge the high courts decision and potentially take legal action against the FaCs secretary for a breach of rights and discrimination against young trans people under the NSW minister of department and community services.
I’d really appreciate the publics cooperation as I’m hoping the more notice everyone has of this taboo subject will help the case out and make it a safer and less invasive procedure for young trans people who are a ward of the state in NSW.
LETS CHANGE HISTORY!!!
This will be delivered to the parliament house, FaCs secretary, and used in court as a resource.
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