Minnesota mom won't give up lawsuit against her transgender teen

Anmarie Calgaro has filed an appeal after a judge dismissed her case.
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A Minnesota mother will continue her legal fight against her transgender daughter.

Last November, Anmarie Calgaro sued her 17-year-old child, as well as a St. Louis County health official, two medical clinics, and the teenager's school district and principal.

The teenager, who now uses a female name with initials EJK, had received hormone therapy without Calgaro's consent. Calgaro also claimed that the clinics and school district had refused to turn over her child's medical and educational records. 

She sued, saying her parental rights were violated because the teen was treated as an emancipated minor, though there was "no court action to that effect." Meanwhile, school officials argued that the teenager should be treated as an emancipated minor under Minnesota law.

In a video for Child Protection League Action earlier this year, Calgaro called the case "a parent's worst nightmare."

But a federal judge threw out the lawsuit in May, saying that nobody had taken away Calgaro's rights as a parent, and that she still had legal custody. The judge also found that the school, county, and health care authorities involved could not be held liable.

The ruling included some background information – EJK revealed that her mother had substance abuse problems and had become abusive after the girl came out as gay when she was 13. 

EJK also said her mom had given her permission to move in with her dad, but after he was sent to prison she began staying with other relatives and friends. Eventually she got her own apartment, where she now lives.

Court documents obtained by NBC News say EJK turned 18 in July, and has been accepted into a college nursing program.

The appeal

It sounds like EJK is a self-sufficient adult now, but her mother isn't willing to let the lawsuit go. The Thomas More Society filed an appeal on Calgaro's behalf in federal court earlier this week.

"There's a real disconnect in the District Court decision where the mother's parental rights are admitted but not honored. Then, at the same time, the District Court claims those agencies which are violating Calgaro's rights are doing nothing wrong," a statement from the law firm says.

The firm argues Calgaro is a "fit parent" and that school and county officials had no right to overrule her parental rights.

"Calgaro, the mother of E.J.K., has not been challenged nor has any evidence been shown that she is an unfit parent. She loves her child regardless of decisions made by her child," the appeal brief states.

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