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Chicago mother loses custody of daughter after denying child is transgender: 'My child is a girl'

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Image source: Independent Women's Forum video screenshot

Jeannette Cooper hasn't had visitation rights with her daughter, Sophia, in nearly three years.

In the summer of 2019, Sophia arrived at her father's house for a routine custody visit and announced that she was transgender. Her mother had no idea.

Sophia's father alleged in court that his daughter was "no longer mentally or emotionally safe" with her mother. Previously, Jeannette had custody of her daughter six days and seven nights a week.

A comprehensive custody investigation was launched. Both of Sophia's parents underwent psychological testing, home visits, and character evaluations. In addition, interviews were conducted with friends and family who had observed Sophia in the care of her mother.

"Usually, Child Protective Services has a definition of what it means to be 'unsafe,' to either be abused or neglected. There was no evidence that I had done anything like that," Jeannette told Independent Women's Forum.

While the report is confidential, public court filings mentioned no evidence of abuse. Instead, they stated that Jeannette needed to work on understanding her daughter's gender dysphoria.

The grieving mother explained, "The thing that I am clearly not complying with is this concept that good parenting means that you affirm a child's idea that there is something wrong with them – I'm not willing to do that."

Jeannette considers herself a radical feminist and has voted Democrat all of her life, but she doesn't align with the party's view that a child can be trans. She stated, "My child is a girl. I won't lie to her or anyone else. I think that's good parenting."

The court briefly allowed Jeannette to see her child in family therapy. However, Jeannette was told that Sophia's stepmother, a licensed psychotherapist, was to have access to their private sessions. Jeannette initially objected but was told she would not be able to see her daughter if she disagreed.

"I'm not going to convince my daughter that somehow she is so weak that she cannot hear her birth name," Jeannette continued.

With therapy over, Jeannette felt pressured and cornered into signing full custody over to Sophia's father. She cited not wanting to prolong an already lengthy case that was causing stress to both her and Sophia.

The agreement allows Jeannette to communicate with Sophia only by mail.

"My daughter did a normal adolescent thing. She tried something. But there were no guardrails. Nothing stopping her. I'm not mad at my daughter. I'm not disappointed in her. I'm disappointed in the adults that have failed to protect her."

While Jeannette no longer has the right to make any educational or medical decisions regarding Sophia, she was able to secure a legal agreement that her daughter would not be allowed to medically transition without her consent.

Jeannette explained that she had to put away old photos of Sophia because the emotions she felt while looking at them were too unbearable. The grieving mother expressed concern that this could happen to any parent.

Moving forward, the only way Jeannette can regain custody of her daughter is by completing multiple support group sessions for parents of transgender-identifying children. So far, she has already attended five meetings, with three more to go.

Jeannette stated, "At this point, I don't know what more I can do."

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