The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, has applauded the decision handed down today by the Full Bench of the Family Court of Australia, citing it as the greatest advancement in transgender rights for children and adolescents in Australia.
The decision means transgender adolescents seeking Stage 2 treatment will no longer have to go before the Family Court. Australia is the only country in the world that requires court involvement in Stage 2 decision-making.
Associate Professor Michelle Telfer, Head of Adolescent Medicine and Gender Services at the RCH, said this decision means that, for the first time in Australian history, transgender adolescents will have the same rights to healthcare as their peers.
“Transgender adolescents will now be able to access the treatment that is best for them, making decisions in collaboration with their parents and their doctors without the delay and the distress that the Court system imposes on them and their families. For these young people, the impact of this change is enormous. They will now have timely access to the treatment which provides a positive difference to their physical and mental health, and their social, emotional and educational outcomes,” A/Prof Telfer said.
The RCH’s Gender Service recently released the first Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for Trans and Gender Diverse Children and Adolescents, and has commenced its Trans20 project – a 20 year, Australian-first, longitudinal study into transgender youth.
The Royal Children’s Hospital has received more than 130 patient referrals this year, and more than 700 since 2003. Of these, 96 per cent diagnosed with gender dysphoria continued to identify as transgender into late adolescence. No patient who commenced stage two treatment has sought to transition back to their birth sex.
Interviews available at The Royal Children’s Hospital, 2pm, Thursday November 30.
- Associate Professort Michelle Telfer
- Georgie Stone, Young Victorian of the Year
- Isabelle Langley, transgender youth
Media contact: Rebecca McLean, 0466 150 947 or email@example.com