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Q: Young TransDaughter needs support
I have an almost-7 year old transgender daughter. She has transitioned completely and uses a female name and female pronouns. She has become happier, more confident, and is doing better in school. My ex WAS 'reluctantly' supportive - he didn't like it but didn't want to hurt our child. It took him a long time to switch names/pronouns and that only happened about a month ago. This week when I picked my kids up from him (an older boy as well) my daughter was in boy's clothing and visibly agitated and upset, in a way I haven't seen in months. The kids said my ex allowed his mother to come over and spend a lot of time trying to "compel" my kiddo to revert to her birth gender. Now that household is refusing to use proper name/pronouns... and has been completely uncooperative in getting my kiddo to a therapist who is experienced with transgender kids. I want to try for legal custody so that I can get her a therapist and so that in the future she can get puberty blockers/hormones as she needs them without each thing becoming a legal battle! Right now we have joint legal and physical custody (kids spend 4 days per week with me and 3 with him). We're in NM, we talked to a great lawyer who was very cautious about our chances. And very, very expensive. Should we try for legal custody? Are we risking having her taken away from us because we support her transition? We don't want her to lose the only support she has (us) and we don't want to lose her.. but we're concerned about her mental health if my ex keeps refusing to acknowledge her identity (or even allow us to get her to a therapist who could help her).
A: Response from Will Halm
The best place for you to start is NCLR - the National Center for Lesbian Rights. They are one of the top legal organizations in the country helping those with transgender legal issues.
Shannon Price Minter Esq. | Legal Director National Center for Lesbian Rights | www.nclrights.org 870 Market Street, Suite 370, San Francisco, CA 94102 415.624.6071 (w) | 415.392.8442 (f) firstname.lastname@example.org
Warm regards and best of luck.
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Cliff Greenberg, Esq, has devoted his entire legal career to helping children and families. After graduating from the George Washington University School of Law, he joined the Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Division in Manhattan as a Law Guardian, where he worked tirelessly to ensure that the city's foster children were protected and placed in loving, permanent homes.
Joyce Kauffman is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in December 1992. She has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley College (now Lesley University) and a Bachelor's degree in Child Development from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Attorney Kauffman is also a trained Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer; the focus of her legal practice, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is LGBT family law and traditional family law.
At International Fertility Law Group (IFLG), Richard B. Vaughn provides legal services nationwide to clients from all over the world hoping to build their families through assisted reproduction as well. Among many other volunteer activities, Rich Chairs the A.R.T. Committee of the ABA Family Law Section. Rich has also served on the National Board of the American Fertility Association (now Path 2 Parenthood).