In an extremely unique case, two South Carolina parents recently sued doctors for deciding the gender of their intersex child, reports MSN.
Nine years ago, Greenville, S.C., residents Pam and Mark Crawford were looking to adopt a child. Scrolling through an adoption site that featured children with various health problems, the couple happened upon a photo of a little 18-month-old girl. Immediately in love with the child, the Crawfords decided to call the South Carolina Department of Social Services to discuss any health problems.
The pair then learned that the child was intersex -- the little child had both a penis and vagina, along with an undescended testicle on one side of the body, and both ovarian and testicular tissue on the other side.
According to Buzzfeed, after talking with social services, Pam recalled her first thought was, “Oh, I hope they haven’t done a surgery!”
Yet, just two months prior, doctors had officially assigned the child female and operated on the then-16-month-old baby. Nonetheless, the Crawfords chose to still adopt the child, now known as MC.
Years later, however, the Crawfords have discovered that as MC has grown older, he identifies as male, despite his female assignment. The pair now grieve that their child’s gender was determined at such a young age.
“It’s become more and more difficult just as his identity has become more and more male,” the parents stated in a video released online, MSN reports. “The idea that mutilation was done to him has become more and more real. There was no medical reason that this decision had to be made at that time.”
As a result, the Crawfords have sued those involved in MC’s surgery, claiming that the doctors violated their son’s rights by having “surgically removed his phallus while he was in foster care, potentially sterilizing him and greatly reducing, if not eliminating, his sexual function,” MSN documents.
The lawsuit is the first in the intersex debate and will come to trial in November, according to Buzzfeed.
“We just hate that there were choices made that could have a significant impact on his being able to be a man,” Pam Crawford said, reports MSN. “We just don’t want people to have to go through what he’s going to face.”