A 12-year-old has been awarded $550,000 in a landmark suit after doctors decided on his gender when he was 16 months old, and performed genital surgery.
The intersex child M.C Crawford was a foster care baby, born with both female and male genitalia.
Surgeons made the decision for him to become a female, and removed his male genitalia.
At the time, the baby’s biological mother was deemed unfit to make a decision, and the biological father reportedly abandoned him, according to court documents.
So doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina stepped in to make the life-changing operation.
Four years ago, when MC was eight years old, his adoptive parents sued those responsible, saying their child identified as a boy all his life, despite not having male genitalia, CNN reported.
Mark and Pamela Crawford filed a lawsuit against three doctors and some members of the South Carolina Department of Social Services, which took four-years for the first-of-its kind case to be settled.
“It’s become more and more difficult, just as his identity has become more clearly male, the idea that mutilation was done to him had become more and more real,” Mrs Crawford told in a video filmed by the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
“There was no medical reason that this decision had to be made at this time.”
A judge on Thursday ruled in M.C’s favour and awarded the settlement to be paid over the next 16 years.
The child’s parents argued he was subject to costly medical bills, as well as emotional pain and suffering, psychological damages and permanent impairment as a result of the surgery, court documents showed.
The Medical University of South Carolina, where the surgery was performed, denied claims of negligence and any liability, but agreed to compromise to avoid the costs of litigation, the court documents state.