Transgender father to appeal refusal of contact with children

Family Law|June 22nd 2017

A transgender woman is to appeal the refusal of a family court judge to let him see his children.

In this complex case, before transitioning she had been a member of the Haredi (or Charedi) community, a branch of Orthodox Judaism. She had been married and had had no less than five children with her now estranged wife before leaving the community when she decided to change her gender.

Despite multiple efforts, the wife refused to let her former husband to see the children, claiming that they would be ostracised by their friends and neighbours if she did so. This argument was accepted by High Court judge Sir Peter Singer, who declared:

“Weighing up the profound consequences for the children’s welfare of ordering or not ordering direct contact with their father, I have reached the unwelcome conclusion that the likelihood of the children and their mother being marginalised or excluded by the ultra-orthodox community is so real, and the consequences so great, that this one factor, despite its many disadvantages, must prevail over the many advantages of contact.”

Consequently the transgender parent would only be allowed to write her children four times each year. She has now been given permission to appeal this ruling, and a full Court of Appeal hearing is scheduled for November 15.

Image by David Ortmann via Flickr

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