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03 September 2021

ICLG Family Law 2022 – trans-parenthood and a minor’s ability to consent to gender-changing medical treatment

Sarah Williams, Legal Director and Head of Surrogacy, Fertility, Adoption & Modern Family in the leading Family department at Payne Hicks Beach, is a contributing author of the recently published International Comparative Legal Guide – Family Law 2022. In her chapter “Trans-Parenthood and a Minor’s Ability to Consent to Gender-Changing Medical Treatment” she discusses how with societal and cultural attitudes towards sexuality, family forms and creation have evolved dramatically in recent years with the aid of surrogacy and in turn discusses minors’ gender dysphoria requiring the ability to consent to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Sarah reviews the seminal cases of Kroon v The Netherlands, McConnell, Quincy Bell and Mrs A and Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority and another [1986] 1 FLR 224, and, in conclusion, provides her expert final observations.

First published in ICLG – Family Law 2022 on 31 August 2021 and reproduced with kind permission.

Subsequent to the publication of the chapter, on Matter of Quincy Bell, Mrs A and the Tavistock Trust [2021] EWCA Civ 1363 on 17 September 2021, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the High Court so that the responsibility to determine whether a child has capacity to consent to medical treatment rests firmly with the treating clinicians, not the Judges (in all but the most complex of cases). Children under 16 will be able to take puberty blockers without their parents’ consent, provided the clinicians are satisfied that the child is “Gillick competent”.

Sarah is a specialist lawyer focusing on complex international surrogacy, fertility and modern family law, in addition to having extensive experience in all children related litigation. Sarah is part of the firm’s top ranked Family department that focuses on providing specialist advice on all areas of family law, including issues arising from divorcecohabitationcivil partnershipsfinancial consequences of a relationship breakdown, inheritance claims and pre and post-nuptial agreements. The team works for a variety of high net worth and ultra high net worth clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters, including those with a complex international angle and is adept at handling all cases with the utmost discretion whilst delivering the best outcome for their clients. Clients highly value its exceptional level of service, astute financial acumen and unparalleled levels of support and is recognised across the industry as one of the best family teams in the UK.

For further information, please contact Sarah Williams Legal Director and Head of Surrogacy, Adoption, Fertility & Modern Family by email or telephone on 020 7693 5821.

Click below to download and read Sarah’s chapter in the International Comparative Legal Guide – Family Law 2022

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Sarah Williams
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