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Christian Parents Ask Supreme Court to Help After Gender-Confused Teen Taken Away from Them

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Two Indiana parents are seeking the intervention of the United States Supreme Court after the state’s Department of Child Services took their gender-confused child away from them due to their Biblical beliefs about sex and gender.

Mary and Jeremy Cox have filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari asking the high court to review the removal of their son, who has identified as a girl, from their home because they did not use female names or pronouns when addressing their child. 

“When our son was removed it was like someone pulled the rug from underneath us,” Jeremy shared in a video message. “As a father, I believe one of my main goals is to keep my children safe and I can’t do that when the state comes into our house and takes our kids because we can’t in good conscience affirm his transgender ideology.”

According to the Indiana Family Institute (IFI), in June 2021, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) initiated an investigation of their home because they were not referring to their son with a cross-gender name and pronouns nor were they endorsing their child’s self-identification as a girl because of their Christian faith. 

DCS pressed for the child’s removal from the home arguing, “We just feel that at this point in time, this child needs to be in a home that’s not going to teach her that trans, like everything about transgender… tell her how she should think and how she should feel. However, she should be in a home where she is (accepted) for who she is.”

The trial court removed the Cox’s son from the home and barred them from speaking to him about the topic of sex and gender, the IFI, which is supporting Cox’s case, reports.

Court documents contend that the child, identified as A.C., was removed from the home partly because of a severe eating disorder that could get worse if he was returned home. 

Although DCS voluntarily dismissed all allegations that Mary and Jeremy abused or neglected their child, an Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision ruling the restriction on the parents’ religious instruction was permissible under state and federal constitutions.

The couple was only allowed to visit their son 2-3 hours a week, but all other contact was limited. He eventually aged out of the foster care system while out of their custody.

“So as a mom having limited access to your children is heartwrenching,” Mary described. “I miss his laugh. I miss being with him…There are so many things that we are to our children. Not just their first teachers, but basically their first loves and to miss out on that during such formative time in his life..we never get that time back.” 
 

The Coxes petitioned Indiana’s Supreme Court to review their case, but it declined. 

The parents are now seeking the United States Supreme Court’s intervention. 

“It is critical that the US Supreme Court correct this horrendous judicial wrong or else the rights of parents everywhere in the United States are at risk due to this case,” reads a statement from IFI.

A.C. is now an adult and can choose not to return home if the Supreme Court reverses the trial court’s ruling, but the Coxes still fear the state may “interfere in their home and the care and custody of their other (minor) children,” according to the petition.

The petition concludes, “No other fit parent should lose custody of their child or face a government muzzle on their deeply held religious beliefs and best judgment. M.C. and J.C. have exhausted every other remedy and are gravely concerned that the state of Indiana will come for their other children. This Court’s intervention is needed.”

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office, which is defending DCS in this case, has requested additional time until February to respond to the Coxes’ petition.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide by April whether to take the case. 

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