ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

MN mom sues for parental rights as son undergoes sex-change procedure

ST. PAUL -- A northern Minnesota mother says she wants the federal courts to restore her parental rights so she can help her son, who is undergoing a sex-change procedure.

2970578+111716 n mcb parentrightssuit mom1 (1).jpg
Tears flow from the eyes of Anmarie Calgaro of St. Louis County, Minn., who on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, announced she is suing several local government entities for funding her son's sex-change procedure without her permission. Photo by Don Davis / Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- A northern Minnesota mother says she wants the federal courts to restore her parental rights so she can help her son, who is undergoing a sex-change procedure.

"Not only was I robbed of the opportunity to help my son make good decisions, but I also feel he was robbed of a key advocate in his life, his mother," a teary-eyed Anmarie Calgaro told reporters Wednesday, Nov. 16, in announcing she is suing St. Louis County, two health-care providers and the St. Louis County School District.

Attorney Erick Kaardal said in St. Paul that the son, now 17, is being changed from "boy to girl ... without her consent and without court order."

He said the suit challenges a state law that allows minors to obtain medical treatment, even elective procedures, without a parent's approval. The suit claims Minnesota law violates the U.S. Constitution by denying parental rights.

Calgaro, of Iron Junction, said that Park Nicollet Health Services, Fairview Health Services and the St. Louis County School District will not let her see her son's records. She said that state Medical Assistance funds are helping him live in his own apartment and paying for medicine, including hormone drugs to help him with the sex change and powerful narcotics.

ADVERTISEMENT

Linnea Mirsch, director of the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Department, who Calgaro also is suing, said county officials have not seen the suit, and could not comment.

"Both federal and state laws strictly limit what information may be shared regarding individuals who may or may not be receiving services from St. Louis County,'' she said.

The issue began in 2015 when Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid wrote a letter saying the parents surrendered their legal rights over their son. The son said that his parents were not married when he was born and Calgaro has legal custody of him, but did not report him as a runaway six months after he left home. He lives in central Minnesota while his mother is in the northeast.

"Suddenly, my son, without any notice to me, no longer was under my supervision," Calgaro said Wednesday.

Kaardal said that while federal courts have taken up parental rights issues, he knows of none quite like the Calgaro case.

Calgaro's child turns 18 next July and can make decisions then.

State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, said he plans to introduce a bill next year to prevent situations like Calgaro's.

Kaardal said that a medical expert he hired said that under state law "if the child can pay for the services, the medical providers treat him as emancipated. ... It happens every day in Minnesota."

ADVERTISEMENT

Calgaro said she is not opposed to the sex-change procedure. "I just want him to slow down."


2970579+111716 n mcb parentrightssuit atty (1).jpg
Attorney Erick Kaardal explains a lawsuit he is filing on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, for a northern Minneosota mother who says organizations are helping her son's sex-change procedure without her approval. Photo by Don Davis / Forum News Service

What To Read Next
Mike Clemens, a farmer from Wimbledon, North Dakota, was literally (and figuratively) “blown away,” when his equipment shed collapsed under a snow load.