On March 26, the UK High Court ruled that parents of trans children can consent to the child receiving puberty blockers if they are under 16. The decision comes after a December 2020 case, which ruled trans youth would have to obtain legal permission before accessing puberty blockers, which Mermaids described as a “devastating blow”. A handful of LGBTQ+ advocacy groups applied to appeal against the ruling (and will be able to do so in June), saying the court did not listen to trans voices.
The recent change in regulations came about when a 15-year-old trans girl took her case to court with support of the Good Law Project. She argued her parents should be able to consent to her use of puberty blockers, and the court judge has now ruled that the December 2020 regulations “do not justify removing the parental right to consent.” The Good Law Project announced its success in a statement, which dubbed the court’s decision as “hugely significant”.
However, it said there are still a number of issues which need to be addressed: “Trans children without parental support – who are especially vulnerable – will remain disadvantaged.” It said the organisation intends to continue fighting for the rights of young trans people, with it planning to oversee a judicial review of the waiting times for gender-affirming healthcare access. It also aims to take legal action in the near future against “public bodies who are directly discriminating against the trans community” .