Transgender teen granted name change by New Jersey court

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New Jersey Superior Court Judge, Marcia Silva, has approved the name change of a transgender teen, saying the move is in his “best interest” because it matches his gender identity. Under the ruling, the now-17-year-old, whose parents are divorced, was granted a name change from Veronica to Trevor, according to an opinion in Sacklow v. Betts in the Middlesex County court.

“This name change allows the transgender minor child to begin to fully transition into their chosen gender and possibly prevent them from facing harassment and embarrassment from being forced to use a legal name that may no longer match his or her gender identification,” Silva wrote in the March 2017 opinion, which was just published this week.

Trevor’s mother filed for the name change on Trevor’s behalf in September 2016 when he was 16, but his father initially opposed the change. The case was questioning whether or not it was in the teens best interest.

During the hearing, the teen testified that he asked to be called Trevor when he was 12-years-old. His father and step-family continued to call him Veronica, he testified. The decision says the boy’s name “better represents who he is and the gender with which he identifies,” according to the court opinion.

Trevor currently is undergoing mental and physical therapy that ultimately will result in a transition from female to male. “This name change allows the transgender minor child to begin to fully transition into their chosen gender and possibly prevent them from facing harassment and embarrassment from being forced to use a legal name that may no longer match his or her gender identification,” Silva said.

Fox Rothschild attorney, Jennifer Millner, said Judge Silva issued a comprehensive ruling. “Judge Silva really nailed the analysis of what a court has to go through. It was clear to the judge that it was in the best interest of the child to move forward. My hope is that transgender minors will see that there is some mechanism in the court system that will help with their journey.”

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