A transgender teen in Minnesota is being sued by her mom, from whom she was largely emancipated, after seeking transitional medical care

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated January 27, 2017 02:45 PM

A Minnesota mom is suing her transgender daughter — who has been living as an emancipated teen and whom she still refers to as her “son” — after learning she is seeking gender reassignment care.

Anmarie Calgaro is trying to regain parental rights to her 17-year-old teen, referred to as E.J.K. in court documents, who has been living on her own for the last two years after allegedly watching her parents regularly struggle with substance abuse, according to NBC News.

E.J.K. says that from the time she was young she would make her own meals and dress herself, and had to look to other adults “who supplied some of the care and nurturing that her biological parents were unable to offer.”

E.J.K. alleges that when she came out as gay at 13, her mother and stepfather became verbally and physically abusive. She moved in with her grandmother at age 15 and often stayed with friends until 2015, when she found her own apartment and got a full-time job. She decided she wanted to become emancipated.

With the help of a legal aid group, E.J.K. drew up emancipation documents; soon after, she started going to a local clinic for gender reassignment medical care.

“I was not pressured in any way by my providers to consent to this treatment,” E.J.K. said in court documents. “My providers had no involvement in my decision not to involve my mother in my health care decisions.”

But Calgaro says the health care providers and E.J.K.’s school should have contacted her for parental permission.

“The news that county agencies and health service providers, the school and other county and state offices were completely bypassing me came as a total shock,” Calgaro said at a press conference. “Why wasn’t I even notified?”

Calgaro filed a lawsuit in November to have her parental rights restored, but the emancipation letter claims she gave up her legal rights to control E.J.K.’s actions.

“They lived apart for six months,” it says in the letter, according to CBS News. “The mother took no actions to report [the child] as a runaway … she made no attempts to bring the teenager home.”

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Calgaro is also suing St. Louis County, the school board, her daughter’s principal, the director of the county’s Health and Human Services and two non-profit health clinics for damages, but legal experts told NBC News that she is unlikely to win her case — plus, E.J.K. turns 18 this summer, at which point the lawsuit would be moot.

After each side presented oral arguments on Thursday, Judge Paul Magnuson said he would rule in the coming months, but is facing a backlog of cases.