If you are thinking of starting a family, please consider doing some legal homework to try to protect your new family from extended family members who feel that it is their duty to take your children just because you are trans*. The legal rules for trans* parents are still uncertain and evolving. Because of ignorance and bias, courts are free to treat trans* parents unfairly. This is the horror story Daniel and Cindy are living.
Daniel is a transman and Cindy’s parents sued to gain custody of the children because they do not approve of Daniel. Apparently, Daniel’s in-laws approved of him before they knew of Daniel’s trans* experience.
This and similar scenarios have occurred many times in the lives of trans* people. Extended family members behave in unexpected ways and can make trans* family life more difficult because laws and courts openly favor cis-gender people.
Fortunately, there is an increasing number of legal advocates who can help us navigate the legal system and decrease the bias and ignorance in the court system.
The guide entitled, Transgender Persons and the Law, was written by transgender lawyer, Ally Windsor Howell. The guide is a legal treatise and addresses a wide variety of laws and court cases that affect transgender people everyday.
The guide is designed to educate lay people and legal professionals. However, because the guide is regularly priced at 129.95, Transgender Persons and the Law will not be accessible to everyone. Legal professionals who want to defend the rights of trans* people should definitely have this book on their shelves. I believe Transgender Persons and the Law will be the first of many such treatises because, where trans* citizens are concerned, the law has a long way to go to deliver the justice enjoyed by non-trans citizens.