Montana Parents Lose Custody of Daughter, 14, Amid Gender Transition Dispute, Citing Undiagnosed Mental Health Concerns

Montana Parents in Custody Crisis:

A Montana mom and dad share the heart-wrenching impact on their family as they lose custody of their 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer, following a dispute over her desire to transition genders.

Initial Concerns and CPS Intervention:

The nightmare began when Jennifer expressed suicidal thoughts at school in August 2023. Child Protective Services (CPS) intervened after inspecting the Kolstad’s home, determining that Jennifer needed to transition for her well-being.

The parents argue that overlooked mental health concerns fueled her desire to transition.

Family Unit Shattered:

Krista Kolstad, Jennifer’s stepmother, laments the devastating impact, stating, “Our family unit will never be the same.”

The parents express concerns about the animosity and strained relationship with Jennifer, who they believe no longer sees them as authoritative figures.

Background and Traumatic Upbringing:

Jennifer’s traumatic upbringing includes a birth mother’s sporadic presence, statements from counselors describing her biological mother as uncaring and abusive, and persistent bullying at school. Despite relocating to provide a fresh start, challenges persisted.

Hospital Visit and Gender Identification:

During a hospital visit prompted by Jennifer’s suicide threats, medical notes identified her as male, stating she wished to be called Leo.

The parents, disagreeing with her choice, faced challenges as the hospital continued using the preferred name, claiming ‘social transition’ as a legal gray area.

Concerns Over Wyoming Placement:

The parents agreed to in-patient treatment but raised concerns about placing Jennifer in Wyoming due to the state’s allowance of gender-affirming care for minors.

Despite expressing reservations, CPS removed Jennifer from their care, citing refusal of treatment.

Transition in Custody:

In Wyoming, Jennifer was given men’s hygiene products and introduced to non-binary discussions.

Specialized in-patient treatment followed, and Jennifer, now in a Montana group home, wears a chest binder, men’s clothes, and expresses a desire for birth control to halt her menstrual cycle.

Legal Battle and Custody Loss:

Assigned a public defender, the parents, advised to ‘play nice’ by following CPS recommendations, lost custody on January 19.

CPS stated that allowing Jennifer to be transgender is ‘therapeutic’ and claims the parents aren’t following recommended therapy.

Custody was granted to CPS for six months, with plans to place Jennifer with her birth mother in Canada.

Defiance Against Silence Order:

Mr. and Mrs. Kolstad, defying a judge’s order of silence, were scheduled for a court appearance responding to contempt charges.

However, the hearing has been delayed due to Mrs. Kolstad’s father’s illness. The parents reveal their side of the story amid a broader context of similar custody battles, such as the Cox family in Indiana.

CPS Responds and Legal Battles Continue:

Child Protective Services in Glasgow, Montana, offers no comment, while the Kolstads continue to navigate a legal battle that includes charges of contempt of court.

The broader landscape features similar cases, such as the Cox family in Indiana, raising concerns about parental rights and faith-based restrictions.

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