A nightmare of a ruling for one mother and her 13-year-old son began when she accused her son’s father of sexually abusing their son. The father was acquitted because of lack of evidence even though the ruling added that there was no reason to not believe the son. The son was then removed from his home and made to go to a daytime community from 7 am to 7 pm each day. Then things got worse for this mother and son.
While at this daytime community, the workers noticed that the boy was “effeminate” and his behavior was not in line with stereotypical “male” behavior so they called social services. This call then led to a custody hearing and the loss of custody for this boy’s mother.
A Juvenile Court in the Italian city of Padua ruled that the 13-year-old be removed from his mother’s home, as his parents had “fallen from parental responsibility.” Social services argued that the boy went “to school wearing eye shadow, glitter, and nail polish.” The ruling showed that “the social services argue that his effeminate attitudes are chargeable to his mother and sisters, as his role models are women.”
Social services also claimed that the boy had a personality disorder adding that “in relationships with peers and adults he is aggressive, provocative, rude and tends to be eccentric.”
“He tends to say in every way that he is different and flaunts effeminacy in a provocative way.”
Social services also claim that the 13-year-old boy showed “deep relational problems and psychological distress signals” and his “emotional world appears to be tied almost exclusively to female figures, and the relationship with the mother appeared characterized by aspects of addiction, especially referring to dyadic relationships with consequent difficulty of sexual orientation.”
The mother’s lawyer called the ruling scandalous and discriminatory and worries that whatever community the teen boy is placed in, he will suffer because there are rumors of him being gay.
“There is no community that can accommodate a child who might be gay,” their lawyer said, adding, “And if he comes with the reputation of being a homosexual? Do we not run the risk of turning him into a child at risk of suicide?”
The court argues that their decision is not discriminatory: “The court is not taking him away for an alleged effeminate attitude,” Maria Teresa Rossi, President of the Juvenile Court in Venice, told Il Mattino.
“Any measure that restricts parental responsibility is linked to a comprehensive view regarding the adequacy of parents to fulfill their role, and the protection of the child.”
Still, the evidence somewhat states otherwise – if not for the discriminatory report of social services, there would be no court case. The family is appealing the court’s decision.