German Courts Rule 11-Year-Old Trans Girl Can Be Institutionalized Against Mother’s Wishes

Berlin’s state court, the Kammergericht, has ruled that an 11-year-old transgender girl can be legally institutionalized in a mental-health facility against her and her mother’s wishes, reports.

Initially, the mother of Alexis Kaminsky (above) had sought to get her daughter therapy to cope with the dissolution of her parents’ marriage and the stress of her gender-identity disorder. (Alexis’ father does not support her desire to live as a female.) But after only an hour-long interview, a nurse with the Youth Welfare Office decided that the best course of action was for Alexis to be remanded to an institution and eventually entered into the foster care system.

After a request by Alexis’ mother to get an impartial professional diagnosis was rebuffed, she filed suit—and lost. Last Thursday, the court upheld the earlier ruling that gave Alexis’ father the right to determine her fate.

Trans advocates protested the ruling on Monday with a banner reading:

“Stop Alex forced into institutionalization at once! Institutions like the youth office and the Charité use force on humans through enforcement and psychological pressure! Each gender and each gender identity is a right, not a disease.”

British trans activist Katrina Swales has begun a petition on behalf of Alexis, which states, “This young girl gets taught that her feelings are wrong. She gets pushed into self-denial more and more. Something that has already cost the lives of so many transsexuals.” More than 9,000 signatures have been collected to date.

While it can be debated whether a child of 11 is old enough to make decisions regarding her mental state and gender identity, the youth office maintains Alexis’ mother is pressuring her to adopt a female persona and that, in the best interest of the child, Alexis be removed from any “sphere of influence.”

Previously, the German government has suggested it was more enlightened than other European nations: Last year, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to require citizens to undergo sterilization and gender-conforming surgeries in order to be legally recognized as the sex they identify as.