The Family Court of Australia today ruled that transgender children and teenagers will no longer require the court’s approval to access gender-affirming hormone therapies, removing a massive barrier facing many young Australians.

The move means that doctors, psychiatrists, and endocrinologists will be more readily able to administer Stage 2 therapies to minors found to have gender dysphoria, without families first going through the arduous and costly process of pleading their case before the legal system.

The decision has manifold benefits to transgender youth.

Switching from Stage 1 treatments, which consist of puberty blockers, to more permanent gender-affirming Stage 2 treatments, has been shown to have profound positive physiological and psychological outcomes. That switch has been slowed by the need to go through the courts, a process which today’s ruling notes took an average of eight months.

An earlier study also found filing a successful claim can cost between $8,000 to $30,000, placing immense financial stress on families who need to apply for court approval.

Anna Brown of the Human Rights Law Centre praised the decision, saying “doctors and parents are able make decisions about every other kind of medical treatment for young people – including ethically complex decisions that weigh up risks and the consequences of not undergoing treatment – and gender dysphoria should be no different.”

The broader trans community and their allies have welcomed the massive decision and praised the bravery of Kelvin, the 16-year-old whose case spearheaded the change.

Source: Family Court of Australia
Image: Marcos del Mazo / Getty