A Texas judge has granted full custody of eight-year-old James Younger to his mother, who has fought publicly to transition her son into a girl against the father’s wishes.
Judge Mary Brown granted full custody to Anne Georgulas in an order on Tuesday, awarding the mother exclusive control over James’s primary residence, counseling, medications, education and extracurricular activities. It allows Georgulas to withhold information from Jeff Younger, James’s father, “regarding the children’s extracurricular activities, school functions, school enrollment, counseling, and medical care.”
However, while Georgulas has the exclusive right to consent to James’s medical procedures, the order notes that that power does not extend to hormone-suppression therapy, puberty blockers, or transgender reassignment surgery.
The high-profile custody case has played out publicly for years as Georgulas has insisted that her son identifies as a girl named Luna. Younger has disagreed, saying that James chooses to present himself as a boy at his house, even though he keeps feminine clothes in his son’s closet as an option.
Georgulas claims that James chose the name “Luna” after expressing the desire to be a girl at young age by showing a preference for female pronouns and Disney princesses. However, Younger argues that James’s transgender status is contrived, and says he has a video of James as a 3-year-old saying that “Mommy” told him he was a girl.
The ruling says that Younger “failed to timely make the payments of child support, medical support and interest as ordered and only paid his past due support after the motion for enforcement was filed.”
“The prior orders that Ms. Georgulas must notify Mr. Younger of doctor’s, counseling, or mental health appointments, or extracurricular activities for the children are lifted. In an effort to ensure the emotional well-being and physical safety of the children, the court orders that all of Mr. Younger’s possession periods shall be continuously supervised by Forensic Counseling Services . . . at Mr. Younger’s sole cost and expense.”
The ruling comes after Georgulas argued in a virtual hearing one month ago that her child’s gender identity was just tangential to the custody case.
“This is not about the child’s gender issues,” Georgulas’ attorney Jessica Janicek said, according to The Texan. “This is just a high-conflict custody case, and you’re going to hear a lot of issues with regards to Jeff’s parenting abilities.”
However, Jeff Younger argued that James’s gender identity is central to the case and that the accusations against him are a result of his unwillingness to treat his son as a girl.
“To downplay that this is but for the gender issue is absolutely misleading and wrong. This is all about the gender issue in this case. And it’s about the parents’ ability to cope with and deal with this situation,” Younger’s attorney David Hanschen said, according to the outlet.
Georgulas’ team claimed that Younger has refused to carry out court orders including required counseling and educational decisions. They also said the father has repeatedly been late on his child support payments, though Younger disputes that allegation, claiming he made payments on time but the attorney general’s office was late in disbursing them.
Younger said he does not object to the counselors but feels that “the system has been gamed.”
“When the child is brought to [the counselors], the child comes from the mother’s custody and is always dressed up as a little girl. Dad only has possession on Fridays, and neither of the two professionals have office hours on Fridays. And so he thinks, and I would agree with him, that it’s really quite unfair that the presentation of the child to the counseling system is only done under the auspices and control of one parent,” Hanschen explained.
The parents also raised disagreements about their son’s haircut length and schooling: while Georgulas takes the boy to public school, Younger wants him to be home-schooled because he is concerned the school encourages James’s feminine identity.