A federal appeals court recently heard arguments in a lawsuit in which a Minnesota mother sued a school district and others over giving her underage son a sex change operation without her consent.
Anmarie Calgaro filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services and the St. Louis County School District in 2016 for treating her son as an emancipated minor and providing gender transition treatments without notice.
Calgaro was represented by the Thomas More Society, who presented arguments before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit last month.
In a statement emailed to supporters on Wednesday, Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal called Calgaro's experiences "a parent's worst nightmare."
"There's a real disconnect in the District Court decision where the mother's parental rights are admitted but not honored," said Kaardal.
"At the same time, the District Court claims those agencies which are clearly violating Calgaro's acknowledged rights are doing nothing wrong."
Kaardal went on to state that the "Court of Appeals needs to untangle this legally incompatible scenario by stating how the law of parental rights and emancipation work administratively by addressing emancipation law and procedures in a way that protects parental rights."
"Most importantly, the Court must ensure that any state law violating those parental rights is struck down as unconstitutional," added Kaardal.
In response to the 2016 lawsuit, school officials argued that the child, whom court documents labeled "E.J.K.," should be treated as an emancipated minor because he had been living on his own and had a letter of emancipation, though it was not legally binding.
In May, District Court Judge Paul Magnuson admitted that the E.J.K. was not legally emancipated and that Calgaro's parental rights "remain intact" but still ruled against the mother. He dismissed the mother's claims as "meritless," arguing that each of the various parties, including the teenager's school district, could not be sued for violation of parental rights.
"The School District argues that Calgaro has failed to plausibly allege that the execution of a School District policy or custom caused the deprivation of Calgaro's parental rights. The School District is correct," ruled Judge Magnuson.
"Calgaro fails to provide any facts that the School District executed a policy or custom that deprived Calgaro of her parental rights without due process."
The Society filed an appeal on Calgaro's behalf in August 2017. E.J.K has argued that he wanted the treatments to transition into a female and was in no way coerced into doing the procedure.
"I was not pressured in any way by my providers to consent to this treatment," said E.J.K. in court papers obtained by NBC News last year. "My providers had no involvement in my decision not to involve my mother in my health care decisions."