Parents and social services 'clash over future of transgender teen'

Parents of a 14-year-old girl, who wants to reject her female identity, have clashed with social services about what is the right way forward.

The child's decision has been backed by the local authority, who refer to her as a boy and have offered transgender therapy, the parents say.

The teenager's parents want an independent assessment of their child's mental state before any action is taken.

The mother, who has remained anonymous to protect the child, told ITV News: "The social worker has pressed us to this position, where we felt coerced and manipulated; that if we did not comply with their wishes, our daughter could possibly be taken away from us.

"I feel like they are following an agenda, that the child should be listened to above all, even when the child is young and the parents' wishes for their child can be superceded by social services."

Under the Equality Act 2010, under 18s are protected from discrimination and that includes gender reassignment.

But a court would need to look at the evidence to decide what is best for the child.

Jamie Bennett, who was born a girl, was supported by his mother Lynne to become a boy. He said he knew he was born in the wrong body when he was just seven years old.

He understands the crisis the family is going through but says the child's needs have to be respected.

"You have just got to think about that child and imagine being in the wrong body," he said.

The parents of the 14-year-old insist their child is too young to make that kind of decision and social services have agreed to meet them in November to try and come to an understanding.