Medical treatment for transgender young people fact sheet

Currently transgender young people can only access cross sex hormones (Stage 2 treatment) for ‘gender dysphoria’ if they have approval from the Family Court. 

This court process delays access to vital medical treatment for transgender young people to affirm their identity and causes significant stress, uncertainty and financial stain for trans young people and their families. We understand that Australia is the only jurisdiction in the world that requires transgender young people to go to court for this type of medical treatment.

The Human Rights Law Centre has produced a fact sheet that outlines:

  • What is the problem?
  • What needs to change?
  • What does transgender mean?
  • What is gender dysphoria?
  • What is stage 2 treatment and why is it important?
  • What is the legal process?
  • How many teenagers does this affect?

"It’s so distressing, it’s expensive and it’s unnecessary. It’s actually harming those children it is supposed to protect" (17 year old Georgie Stone, plaintiff in Re Jamie case)

"The requirement for court approval has been identified by Victorian medical experts as the most significant contributor to mortality rates amongst transgender young people" (Dr Michelle Telfer, Royal Children’s Hospital)

"As if the general turmoil and challenges which being a teenager in our modern world generates are not enough, the additional burden of requiring an already vulnerable and highly marginalised group to individually litigate to vindicate their identity seems inhumane. No other group of adolescents is required to do so. Having already traversed a far more difficult path than many of their peers, it can only serve to further increase their burden… The sooner that children such as Lucas and their families do not have to endure the ordeal of litigation in order to get on with their lives, the better" (Family Court Judge Peter Tree)

"Law reform is urgently needed to address the serious negative mental health impacts this court process has on transgender young people" (Human Rights Law Centre's Director of Advocacy Anna Brown)

If you want to discuss a particular issue covered in the fact sheets, please contact the HRLC.