A Minnesota federal appeals court recently heard the case of a mother who claims her underage son was given a sex change operation without her consent.
Anmarie Calgaro sued her county, school district, and medical care providers for allegedly bypassing her consent as the legal guardian, and giving her child transgender services and narcotic drugs.
Calgaro originally filed the lawsuit in 2016 but was represented by the Thomas More Society before a three-judge panel on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
School officials who helped Calgaro's 17-year-old son through the sex change process argued that he "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."
District Court Judge Paul Magnuson ruled in May 2017 that Calgaro's son was not legally emancipated and her parental rights "remain intact." However, he ruled against the mother, arguing that the parties involved could not be sued for violating her 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," Judge Magnuson ruled.
Calgaro's son said in court documents obtained by NBC News that his treatment providers "had no involvement in my decision not to involve my mother in my health care decisions."
Thomas More 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. At the same time, the District Court claims those agencies which are clearly violating Calgaro's acknowledged rights are doing nothing wrong," explained Kaardal.
Kaardal urged the court 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.