If, however, this process starts too late (and sometimes it
takes the onset of puberty for the problem to be noticed), there are likely to
be severe psychological after-effects for the child to deal with - tragically,
suicide attempts are quite common in these circumstances.
For this reason, one of the major factors in this kind of
gender reassignment treatment is the sex that the child feels it has. Have they
been brought up as male or female? Do they feel male or female (if they are old
enough to give such a response)? Doctors will want to know all these things
before proceeding. Furthermore, in the UK it is presently impossible for a
change of gender, even one on purely medical grounds to be acknowledged on a
birth certificate, which could prevent the individual from marrying.
Most ministers (of Religion) are unlikely ever to deal with
such a case, since they are extremely rare, but if they do, we recommend they
play a sympathetic and supportive role for the family involved, and allow the
clinicians to recommend the best course of action. The tendency of some
practitioners to push families towards a particular course of action should be
resisted, however the minister's support may also be needed here.
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