Until about two years ago she was a Haredi man, married with children and living in North Manchester, England. But when he became a woman, all ties with the family and the children were severed, UK media reported Wednesday. Now she is asking to be “sensitively re-introduced” to the children, but her wife would have none of that, arguing that letting the children see their father in her current state would turn them into pariahs in the Haredi community.
Earlier this year, a High Court judge sided with the mother, ruling that the children should not be reacquainted with their father, but approved of exchanges of letters and cards. But now three Court of Appeal judges have sided with the father, and ordered a review of the case by another High Court judge.
The three-judge appeals panel agreed with several complaints the father-turned-woman had made about the decisions in her case:
“First, the judge, having arrived at his conclusion, did not at that point step back and ask himself what were a number of highly pertinent questions,” said Sir James, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, who is the most senior family court judge in England and Wales.
“For example, he should have asked himself: how do I, indeed, how can I, properly accommodate this conclusion with my role as the judicial reasonable parent applying the standards of reasonable men and women today?
“Secondly, it is unfortunate that the judge did not address head-on the human rights issues and issues of discrimination which arose,” Sir James added. He also challenged the decision to approve strictly indirect contact with the children, saying “there was considerable substance in the complaint that the judge ‘gave up too easily’ and decided the question of direct contact then and there without directing even a single attempt to try and make it work.”