Parental Responsibilities and Rights during the ‘Gender Reassignment’ Decision-Making Process of Intersex Infants

Date

2021-09-29

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Brill| Nijhoff

Type

Book chapter

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

It is estimated that approximately two million infants displaying intersex characteristics, are born every year. Such children are often subjected to medical intervention during the early years of their lives since it is socially considered “necessary” to allocate a conclusive sex to an intersex child. Although it is broadly observed that there are only three instances where “gender re-assignment surgery” for intersex infants is medically necessary, the majority of surgeries are cosmetic, unnecessary and performed with the stated aim of making it easier for intersex children to grow up to be “normal”. Parents of intersex children are faced with the agonising choice as to whether or not to consent to their intersex baby undergoing sex alteration surgery. Relying predominantly on the information provided to them by medical experts, parents are not always fully informed as to the potential physical and psychological risks attached to this type of surgery at this time of children’s lives. This paper seeks to discuss the role and duty of parents during this decision-making process, by evaluating the obligations prescribed by Article 5 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Description

Keywords

Parental responsibilities and rights, Intersexed children, Article 5 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Citation

Mills, L. and Thompson, S. (2021) Parental Responsibilities and Rights during the “Gender Reassignment” Decision-Making Process of Intersex Infants - Guidance in Terms of Article 5 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In: Fenton-Glynn & Sloan (eds) Parental Guidance, State Responsibility and Evolving Capacities, Brill, pp. 172-196

Rights

Research Institute

Centre for Law, Justice and Society