Minnesota mom sues for rights over her transgender teen

The lawsuit challenges state law that allows minors to receive medical care and procedures without parental consent.

An underage teen received medical care and treatments in Minnesota without parental consent – now her mother is suing.

According to the complaint filed Wednesday, 17-year-old "J.D.K." received transgender services and narcotic drugs from the state's government agencies and clinics in order to transition from a male to a female.

The teen's mother, Anmarie Calgaro, claims her parental rights were violated because J.D.K. was treated as an emancipated minor, though there was "no court action to that effect."

She's suing J.D.K., as well as St. Louis County and its health board, local health care nonprofits Park Nicollet Health Services and Fairview Health Services, and individuals employed at those organizations. Also named are the school district and the principal, who Calgaro says have not allowed her access to her child's education or records.

But Minnesota law allows minors who don't live with their parents to become emancipated, and Mid-Minnesota Legal (a non-profit law firm) says the teenager was declared legally emancipated under state law in June 2015, due to “conduct by the parent in giving up control and custody of the minor.”

According to the letter attached to the bottom of the complaint, J.D.K. had been living apart from Calgaro for six months, supporting herself with two jobs while also attending high school and post-secondary courses. It states that Calgaro knew where her child was, but had made it known that she didn't want to make contact and hadn't made any effort to do so.

Does MN law violate the Constitution?

Calgaro's lawsuit challenges state law that allows minors to receive medical care and procedures without parental consent.

What's the law? According to MN statute, if a minor lives without a parent or legal guardian (with or without consent, and regardless of the length of time) and manages their own finances (no matter the amount of income) they can consent to personal medical, dental, mental and other health services. No other consent is needed.

Calgaro believes this law violates her constitutional rights, because she "never got her day in court" to contest the emancipation. Her lawyers say she was denied the right of due process granted by the 14th Amendment, The Washington Times said.

“Not only was I robbed of the opportunity to help my son make good decisions, but I also feel he was robbed of a key advocate in his life, his mother,” Calgaro said at a news conference Wednesday.

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Calgaro is represented by the Thomas More Society, a law firm known for its anti-abortion cases – the firm also represents David Daleiden, an anti-abortion activist who was accused of trying to buy human organs in an attempt to frame Planned Parenthood, NBC reported.

Calgaro is seeking damages over $75,000 against each defendant and for legal fees, a judgment declaring that her due process rights were violated, and an injunction to prevent her children from receiving any additional medical, educational or other services without her consent – until she restores parental rights or a state court order of emancipation is issued.

If the lawsuit is successful, about 6,580 transgender and gender non-conforming high school students in the state (an estimate taken from the MN Department of Education's 2016 Minnesota Student Survey) could face more obstacles in getting medical care, NBC noted.

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