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Crosstalk: August 1, 2019

Suppose one day you arrived home and learned that you no longer had authority over your minor teenage son.  Unbeknownst to you, your son received advice from a legal aid group on how to become emancipated. No court hearings, no opportunity to be part of the legal process, and now no access to school records or medical records…no rights any longer as a parent.  Then you find out that your son was receiving without your permission or even your knowledge hormone treatments in order to transition from male to female. Would you be shocked? Would you wonder how such legal action could take place and you not even know about it?  

Such is the case with a mom in Minnesota who is now petitioning the United States Supreme Court in order to have her day in court and to prevent what happened to her from happening to countless other families as well.  The guest on this edition of Crosstalk calls it a parent’s worst nightmare.

Erick Kaardal is special counsel with the Thomas More Law Firm.  He’s a graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago Law School and has served around 10 years as an officer in the Illinois Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserves and Minnesota Army National Guard before retiring as a captain.  He is an advisory board member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federalist Society.

Anmarie Calgaro had to find out what was taking place in the life of her child in a ‘backward way’ according to Erick, even though county and school district bureaucrats all knew what they were doing.  It took considerable time for her to figure out that her 15 year old (through a letter from the legal aid clinic) was emancipated and that under certain statutes, county funding would take care of various aspects of the emancipation.  So through a letter, not a legal document, Anmarie lost control of her child from a welfare, medical and educational perspective. In other words, she was stripped of her parental rights in spite of the fact that she was a fit parent.   

Erick doesn’t know if Anmarie’s son solicited the legal aid clinic or if he was recruited, but he does know that Anmarie unconditionally loves her child regardless of the decisions he makes, and that feeling has continued throughout the litigation.  So the dispute isn’t between Anmarie and her son, it’s with Anmarie and the government regarding statutes and policies that would terminate her parental rights without notice or a hearing.

There’s much more to this case and Jim had Erick explain all facets on this edition of Crosstalk.

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