Gender

Adopted Parents Sue over Child's Sex-Assignment Surgery

Born with both genitals, surgeons selected the female anatomy, but now he acts and lives as a boy

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A South Carolina couple sued doctors and state social workers on Tuesday for subjecting a 16-month-old child born with both male and female genitalia to what they say was medically unnecessary and irreversible sex-assignment surgery while the toddler was in foster care.

The state and federal lawsuits—believed by the couple's lawyers to be the first of their kind in the United States—argue that doctors should not have performed surgery to make the child's body appear to be female when they knew they could not predict how gender would develop.

The child, now 8, has shown strong signs of identifying as male and recently began living as a boy, according to Pam and Mark Crawford, who adopted him after the surgery.