(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Chicago woman Jeannette Cooper lost custody of her child, Sophia, after the 12-year-old told her father and stepmother that she was transgender and didn’t feel safe with her mother, the Independent Women’s Forum reported.
Because Cooper is skeptical of gender ideology and questions whether her daughter is actually transgender, a court sided with the child’s father, who claimed Sophia is mentally and emotionally unsafe staying with her mother, according to the IWF. Cooper has only spent eight and a half hours with Sophia, now almost 16, since the child left her house in 2019.
“I have an understanding of the concept of a transgender identity,” Cooper told the IWF. “I don’t think it’s the concept that they want me to have.”
Cooper had custody of her daughter for six days and seven nights a week in the initial custody agreement following her 2015 divorce from Sophia’s father, according to the IWF. She learned of Sophia’s transgender identity for the first time after the child’s father refused to return her to her mother’s custody after a weekend visit.
Sophia has always presented as feminine, and she still does after three years of identifying as transgender, her mother told the IWF. Cooper, on the other hand, wears her hair short, doesn’t shave her legs and doesn’t care whether the clothes she buys are for men or for women; she joked that she’s the one people would expect to be transgender.
Sophia currently goes by the name “Ash” and uses the pronouns xe/xyr/xyrs, according to the IWF.
While Cooper had expressed skepticism of childhood sex changes in front of her daughter prior to her coming out as transgender, she also let Sophia know that she would accept her no matter who she was, she told the IWF.
After Cooper filed an emergency petition to have Sophia returned to her, a court sided with the child’s father, who claimed that due to “burgeoning adolescence and awakening awareness of self,” Sophia was “no longer mentally or emotionally safe” staying with her mother, according to IWF. The father requested all parenting time and decision-making authority and asked the court to limit communications between Cooper and Sophia.
“They want me to have a certain understanding that there is such a thing as a child who is born transgender, and this is who they are. I do not believe that to be true,” Cooper said. “My child is a girl, and I won’t lie to her or anyone else. I think that’s good parenting.”
Sophia’s stepmother, a licensed psychotherapist, may have encouraged her to separate from her mother, Cooper told the IWF. As part of the initial custody agreement after Sophia came out as transgender, Cooper had to include the stepmother in family therapy and grant her access to what happened in her private sessions with Sophia in order to be allowed to see her daughter.
An intensive seven-month custodial investigation presented no findings of abuse or neglect but said Jeannette needed to “further [her] understanding of an[d] support of the minor child as relates to the minor child’s gender dysphoria,” according to IWF.
In order to spare Sophia of further litigation, Cooper entered into a new agreement in 2021 granting custody to Sophia’s father. It doesn’t include visitation rights unless the father agrees, which he hasn’t yet, according to the IWF.
The Biden administration has vocally supported medical sex changes for children who identify as transgender, which it euphemistically refers to as “gender-affirming care.” While some states are moving to restrict these procedures for minors, some state-level Democrats are pushing to erode the parental rights of those who question their child’s transgender identity.
Democratic California State Sen. Scott Wiener introduced a bill that would block state courts from enforcing out-of-state child custody orders regarding parents who take their children to California for sex changes that are illegal in their home states, even in cases where one parent doesn’t consent to the procedures.
Cooper did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.