An Exploratory Study of Custody Challenges Experienced by Affirming Mothers of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children

Katherine A. Kuvalanka, Camellia Bellis, Abbie E. Goldberg, Jenifer K. McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Family courts have lacked familiarity with evidence-based recommendations regarding the best interests of transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) children, resulting in some affirming parents losing physical and/or legal custody. This exploratory, qualitative study with 10 affirming mothers of TGNC children who had experienced custody-related challenges reported on salient themes, including “blame” for causing children's gender nonconformity, coercion by ex-partners, bias in the courts, negative impact on children, emotional and financial toll on participants, and the critical importance of adequate resources. Findings indicate the need for better-educated family court professionals, as well as socioemotional support and financial and legal assistance for affirming parents of TGNC children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-71
Number of pages18
JournalFamily Court Review
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Best Interest
  • Custody
  • Disnormativity
  • Divorce
  • Family Court
  • Transgender Child
  • Transphobia

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