Anmarie Calgaro is suing her transgender daughter for seeking gender reassignment care without her consent. She is also trying to regain parental rights over the 17-year-old, whom she still calls her son and who is emancipated from her parents and has been living alone for two years now.
The teenager, referred to as E.J.K. in court documents, says that she has identified as a girl since she was a child and began seeking transition-related care soon after she started living on her own. At 13, she came out to her parents as gay, and the couple became physically and verbally abusive. E.J.K. then moved in with her grandmother at age 15. She currently has a full-time job and is on track to graduate from high school this spring.
Calgaro, however, says the health care providers and E.J.K.’s school should have contacted her for parental permission before allowing her to receive care.
“The news that county agencies and health service providers, the school and other county and state offices were completely bypassing me came as a total shock,” Calgaro said at a press conference. “Why wasn’t I even notified?”
She filed a lawsuit in November to have her parental rights restored, but the emancipation letter says she’s already given up her legal rights over E.J.K, claiming, “They lived apart for six months. The mother took no actions to report [the child] as a runaway … she made no attempts to bring the teenager home.”
In addition, Calgaro is also suing St. Louis County, the school board, her daughter’s principal, the director of the county’s health and human services, and two non-profit health clinics for damages. Numerous briefs filed by the defendants in the case, however, argue that E.J.K is “not a proper defendant” because she is an emancipated minor. She also turns 18 this summer, at which point the lawsuit would be null and void.
Each side presented oral arguments on Thursday, but the judge noted that his ruling could take months due to a backlog of cases.
“I am firmly committed for what is best for my son, for all of my children,” Calgaro said. “I am his mother. He is and always will be welcome in our home.”