Exclusive: Parents warring over their child medically transitioning genders have agreed to not allow their child to take puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones until the child is at least 16.
The agreement was reached after a landmark case in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia which heard 10 days of evidence.
The case centred around a pre-pubescent child.
For legal reasons News Corp cannot identify the child or the public clinic where the child was being treated.
The legal team involved also emphasised they cannot talk about any specifics of the case, but said it is the first time scientific evidence on the safety of puberty blockers has been thoroughly scrutinised in an Australian court.
Lawyer Bill Kordos, who represented the parent who did not want their child to go on puberty blockers, said the gender clinic involved should be disbanded.
“I feel for the hundreds of children that have gone through the gender unit, it’s that bad,” Mr Kordos said.
“The clinic’s evidence was politicised rather than medical and our evidence showed their biases.
“It’s an industry. We need an urgent public inquiry into this.”
Professor of law specialising in family and child protection, Patrick Parkinson, said this court case tested – for the first time – the evidence around puberty blockers and whether they were “safe, reversible and appropriate”.
He said puberty blocking drugs have only been licensed to be used on children with early onset puberty, not for gender incongruence, where it is often prescribed for a far longer period – usually up to five years.
“The experts sought to show that puberty blockers are not fully reversible nor safe for as long as they are being used by some gender clinicians,” Prof Parkinson said.
“Doctors know that they can have devastating effects on bone density, which should increase substantially for children who go through normal puberty.
“And we don’t know the effects on the brain of stopping a normal developmental process for so many years.”
Prof Parkinson said there was also the issue of diagnosis, with many children having a number of mental health issues that need to be carefully considered.
He predicted that when the current practices are fully exposed to careful scrutiny, this will be regarded as Australia’s “greatest medical scandal of the last 50 years”.
The clinic involved and the Department of Health said they could not comment.