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Indiana Removes Gender-Confused Teen from Christian Home, Parents Ask Supreme Court for Help

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Two Indiana parents are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hold the state accountable for removing their gender-confused child from their home due to their Biblical beliefs about sex and gender.

Mary and Jeremy Cox filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari Thursday asking the high court to review the removal of their son, who identifies as a girl, from their home because they did not use female names or pronouns when addressing their child. 

"This is what every parent is afraid of. We love our son and wanted to care for him, but the state of Indiana robbed us of that opportunity by taking him from our home and banning us from speaking to him about gender," said the couple. "We are hopeful that the Justices will take our case and protect other parents from having to endure the nightmare we did."  

As CBN News reported, in June 2021, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) initiated an investigation of their home because they were not referring to their son with a cross-gender name and pronouns, nor were they endorsing their child's self-identification as a girl, because of their Christian faith.

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DCS pressed for the child's removal from the home arguing, "We just feel that at this point in time, this child needs to be in a home that's not going to teach her that trans, like everything about transgender... tell her how she should think and how she should feel. However, she should be in a home where she is (accepted) for who she is."

The trial court removed the Cox's son from the home and barred them from speaking to him on topics on human sexuality and gender identity, Becket Law, which is representing the couple, reports.

"This case presents a legal question of nationwide importance: when can the state muzzle parental speech and remove a child from the home of admittedly fit parents? The decision below squarely conflicts with this (Supreme) Court's precedents on parental rights, free speech, and religious exercise," reads the petition for a Writ of Certiorari.

"That decision increases governments' power to remove children from fit parents, limits Free Exercise defenses to removal of children, and puts speech that occurs in the home beyond the reach of the First Amendment," it continues.

Court documents contend that the child, identified as A.C., was removed from the home partly because of a severe eating disorder that could have gotten worse if he had returned home. 

Although DCS voluntarily dismissed all allegations that Mary and Jeremy abused or neglected their child, an Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's decision ruling the restriction on the parents' religious instruction was permissible under state and federal constitutions.

"First, unlike most other cases, Indiana found the parents fit but still removed the child over an ideological dispute: a disagreement over gender identity. Although Indiana found all allegations of abuse and neglect unsubstantiated, it refused to return A.C. to Petitioners' home, substituting the judgment of the state for that of admittedly fit parents," the writ explains. 

The Coxes later petitioned Indiana's Supreme Court to review their case, but it declined. 

That's why they are now seeking the United States Supreme Court's intervention. 

"When our son was removed it was like someone pulled the rug from underneath us," Jeremy shared in a video message. "As a father, I believe one of my main goals is to keep my children safe and I can't do that when the state comes into our house and takes our kids because we can't in good conscience affirm his transgender ideology."

A.C. is now an adult and can choose not to return home if the Supreme Court reverses the trial court's ruling, but the Coxes still fear the state may "interfere in their home and the care and custody of their other (minor) children," according to a previous petition.

"If this can happen in Indiana, it can happen anywhere. Tearing a child away from loving parents because of their religious beliefs, which are shared by millions of Americans, is an outrage to the law, parental rights, and basic human decency," said Lori Windham, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. "If the Supreme Court doesn't take this case, how many times will this happen to other families?" 

CBN News has reached out to both DCS and the Indiana Attorney General's Office, which is defending DCS in this case, for comment.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide by April whether to take the case. 

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.