Warren County judge rejects transgender child’s name change; family appeals


A Mason family has appealed a Warren County judge’s rejection of their motion to change their child’s name from Heidi Clare Whitaker to Elliott John Whitaker.

Stephanie and Kylen Whitaker filed for the name change on April 24 in Warren County Juvenile Court on behalf of their 15-year-old child.

“The child picked a name to suit gender identity,” Stephanie Whitaker said in the motion.

MORE: Warren County challenges transgender protections in Obamacare 

On June 22, Judge Joe Kirby ruled the motion was “not well taken” and denied the name change.

“Mother wishes to change the child’s name from Heidi Claire Whitaker to a male name, Elliott John Whitaker, because the child identifies herself as a transgender male. The child was born female,” Kirby wrote in the motion.

Kirby said the change was not “reasonable and proper and in the child’s best interest at this time.”’

The judge said Elliott has been in therapy for about a year. Diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, he is in counseling and undergoing medical treatment.

MORE: Legal battles concern Clark county family of transgender 7-year-old

“She first realized she was transgender in the spring of 2017 and started to cut her hair and wear boy clothes,” Kirby wrote.

The child was to begin getting testosterone treatments that “will artificially put her body through male puberty,” according to the decision.

MORE: Community meets on Troy transgender policy

The judge wrote: “Heidi is aware that some of the hormonal therapies are permanent in nature and are irreversible. She realizes that she is already called Elliott, but there are some instances in which her birth name Heidi is and will be used: her school still uses her birth name on their official rosters and yearbooks, substitute teachers call her by her birth name, her driver’s license will have her birth name once she applies for one, and any future passport applications and college applications she makes will have her birth name as well.”

While acknowledging the name change would “resolve some of the feelings of distress,” Kirby said the court “must consider the best interest of the child.”

MORE: Transgender teen killed on I-71 left suicide note

Noting the child’s age, Kirby concluded, “In essence, the court isn’t saying ‘no’ to the name change. The court is simply saying ‘not yet’.”

On Monday, Stephanie Whitaker appealed Kirby’s decision.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com




Next Up in Local

Former Miss Kentucky charged with sending naked photos to student
Former Miss Kentucky charged with sending naked photos to student

A former Miss Kentucky was arrested Friday and charged with four felony counts in Kanawha County, West Virginia, after she was caught sending nude photos of herself to a former student, according to authorities. >> Read more trending news  Ramsey Bearse, 28, now a middle school science teacher outside Charleston, admitted to sending...
100 bills in 10 days: Mad finish on tap as lawmakers, Kasich wrap up session
100 bills in 10 days: Mad finish on tap as lawmakers, Kasich wrap up session

The abrupt resignation of the Ohio House speaker, an internal fight over picking the next leader and competitive midterm elections put a lot of work in the General Assembly on hold for weeks on end in 2018. But now as the two-year legislative session ticks down, lawmakers are trying to sort through what needs to be done in the next 10 days. And there...
Children receive money to shop with cops at Walmart in Sidney
Children receive money to shop with cops at Walmart in Sidney

Christmas came early Sunday morning for 65 children from Shelby County who went shopping with cops at Walmart, according to News Center 7’s Northern Bureau Chief Steve Baker. Representatives from all law enforcement agencies within the county participated. “We really appreciate to be involved with it because one thing that folks have...
Kettering set to vote on 2019 personnel raises and changes
Kettering set to vote on 2019 personnel raises and changes

Kettering will vote on Tuesday on changes in pay grades and restructuring of positions for city employees for 2019. If approved, the move would add raises for non-union and part-time employees, boost police and fire staffing and make changes to the the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. Council members last week held a first reading of...
Jefferson Regional Water Authority issues boil advisory for Montgomery County customers
Jefferson Regional Water Authority issues boil advisory for Montgomery County customers

Jefferson Regional Water Authority of Montgomery County has issued a boil advisory due to a water main break Sunday. Water used for consumption and cooking should be boiled before use, according to a release. Customers who are without water or have low pressure should be restored Sunday. The boil advisory will be in effect until further notice, the...
More Stories