Wednesday 31 January 2024

Montana Governor Says State Followed Law In Case Where Trans-Identifying Teen Was Removed From Parents

 Montana’s Republican governor said Monday that his state followed state law in a case where a trans-identifying teenager was removed from her parents.

A Montana couple accused the state of “kidnapping” their teenage daughter after she began identifying as a boy, Reduxx reported Monday.

Krista and Todd Kolstad said their 14-year-old daughter was removed from their custody and sent to a Wyoming facility, where they were unable to contact her directly.

The problems allegedly began in August when the parents got a call that their daughter had expressed suicidal ideations at school. That night, a Montana Child and Family Services case worker showed up at their door, Reduxx reported.

During the case worker’s visit, the teen claimed to have ingested painkillers and toilet bowl cleaner to try to kill herself. This led to a hospital visit, where her bloodwork showed no evidence of those toxins.

However, hospital workers noted in paperwork that the teen identified as “male” and wanted to be called “Leo.” Her parents objected, but hospital staff told the parents to “respect” their daughter’s new identity, they said.

Eventually, the state removed the teen from her parents’ custody and moved her to a facility in Wyoming, the parents said. Police showed up at their home to serve them with custody papers, saying the reason was that the teen’s parents were “unable or refusing to provide medical care,” which her mother said is “just not true.”


The parents said they were not allowed to communicate directly with their daughter while she was in Wyoming.

In September, the teen was returned to Montana and now lives in a group home.

However, earlier this month, Child and Family Services said it planned to place the teen in the care of her birth mother in Canada, who has not been a part of the teen’s life, and whose children have made allegations of physical abuse against her, according to the parents.

“Our family has been destroyed by this. We have little to no contact with Jennifer and our rights as her parents have been trampled on,” Krista told Reduxx.

The couple defied a judge’s order to remain silent on the case.

“We will continue to fight. We will never give up on our daughter and for what we believe is morally right. We will continue to tell our story, even though we are currently in contempt of court, and try to keep other families from going through this. Our greatest fear is that our daughter is now going to become a victim of this system and eventually take her own life,” she said.

On Monday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, a Republican, said the state had reviewed the case and concluded that state policy and law was followed.

“To give them their best shot at reaching their full potential, children deserve to grow up in happy, healthy homes with loving families. Sadly, this ideal is not always realized,” Gianforte posted on X. “Unfortunately, our society finds children whose life, health, and wellbeing are at serious risk from abuse and neglect, and only as a last resort, should they be removed from their home.”

Gianforte said he asked Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras (R), an “experienced attorney, constitutional conservative, mother, and grandmother,” to review the child welfare case.

The lieutenant governor personally examined case documents and consulted with the director of Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services. She concluded that the department and the court “have followed state policy and law in their handling of this tragic case,” Gianforte said.

“I have asked the lieutenant governor to continue monitoring the case as it progresses,” the governor added.

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