Law & the Courts

Texas Gov. Announces Investigation Into Custody Battle Over Boy’s Gender Transition

Texas governor Greg Abbott (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday night that the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services are looking into a case involving a custody battle over a seven-year-old boy who is said to be transgender by his mother.

On Tuesday, a Texas jury denied James’s father, Jeff Younger’s, request for sole conservatorship, ruling that he must continue parenting with James’s mom, who has been encouraging James’s “social transition” against his father’s wishes.

James’s mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, who is a pediatrician, separated from Younger several years ago after James and his brother were born, and was given exclusive rights and duties, while Younger’s custody rights were limited.

Georgulas has said that seven-year-old James began to show signs of identifying as a girl when he asked for a girls’ toy from McDonald’s, began imitating the female characters from Disney’s “Frozen,” and started asking to wear dresses.

After being referred to a LGBT family therapist, Georgulas was advised to begin “affirming” James by calling him “Luna,” as well as “socially transitioning” him at school. Medical records presented by the boy’s pediatrician list James as “Luna Younger, female,” and included a recommendation to visit GENecis clinic at Children’s Hospital Center, which offers “hormone therapy” and “puberty suppression.”

Georgulas’ legal team has brought several therapists and counselors as witnesses, all of whom testified that James told them that he was a girl and wanted to be called “Luna.”

Younger has contended in court that James is happy to present as a boy when they are together, referring to himself as “James” and wearing male clothing.

He has also argued that the situation violates one of the two requirements for “gender dysphoria” in the DSM-V, the current manual used by the American Psychiatric Association. In addition to displaying characteristics related to gender expression, such as clothes, pronouns, etc., the patient must “display distress.” Witnesses who testified in the case — including those who diagnosed James with gender dysphoria — said that he has not displayed any such distress, according to the Texan.

Conservatives, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, voiced their concerns about the case on Twitter ahead of Abbott’s announcement.

Georgulas’ legal representation told the Daily Caller in a statement Wednesday that a “completely distorted and untrue version of events in this case has been circling the media . . . The pleadings in this case are available online, including, but not limited to, the Court’s prior annulment proceedings and the numerous findings of fraud that the Court made in this case against Mr. Younger.”

The lawyers said that Georgulas’ case “is being viciously attacked and threatened by complete strangers based on false and untrue statements.”

The judge presiding over the case is expected to read the final ruling and order on Thursday, which may force Younger to call his son “Luna,” and attend classes on transgenderism. He could also be barred from taking his son outside the home dressed as a boy.

On Thursday, Judge Kim Cooks ruled that Jeff Younger is entitled to a say in his son’s gender-transition process.

Editor’s Note: This article originally stated, incorrectly, that the judge had awarded sole conservatorship of the child to Georgulas. We regret the error.

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