Australia News & Commentary

Students May Undertake Gender Transition Without Parental Consent Or Medical Advice, Says Government

Schools must also allow students access to the toilets, showers, and change rooms they "feel most comfortable using."

The Victorian Government’s LGBTIQ Student Support policy allows for students to undertake gender transitions without the consent of their parents or the advice of a medical practitioner.

The policy, which is designed to “ensure schools support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and gender diverse, Intersex, and Queer and questioning (LGBTIQ) students,” says children under 18 years can make decisions without parental consent if the student is considered a mature minor.

The policy states:

“There may be circumstances in which students wish or need to undertake gender transition without the consent of their parent/s (or carer/s), and/or without consulting medical practitioners.

“If no agreement can be reached between the student and the parent/s regarding the student’s gender identity, or if the parent/s will not consent to the contents of a student support plan, it will be necessary for the school to consider whether the student is a mature minor.

“If a student is considered a mature minor they can make decisions for themselves without parental consent and should be affirmed in their gender identity at school without a family representative/carer participating in formulating the school management plan. 

“Department policy addresses situations in which students, though under the age of 18 years, may be sufficiently mature to make their own decisions, (refer to Mature Minors and Decision-Making).”

The policy also requires schools, not only to provide a uniform that reflects the student’s gender identity, but to allow students access to the toilets, showers, and change rooms they “feel most comfortable using.”

School management plans for transitioning students are to consider “the use of toilets, showers, and change rooms that meet the needs of the student.”

“This should be based on the student’s gender identity,” the policy states, “and whichever facilities they feel most comfortable using.”

The policy goes on to say, “students without a disability should not be required t use disabled toilets or facilities.”

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