Untangling Sex Change and Child Custody

Here’s an opinion from the Illinois court of appeals that tries to wrestle with what happens when a woman changes her sex and becomes a man (“Sterling”), marries a woman (“Jennifer”), and becomes a father to a child. In the Case of Simmons v. Simmons, Case Nos. 1-03-2284 and 1-03-2348 (Consolidated), 2005 Ill. App. 127 (February 16, 2005), Jennifer argued in the custody fight that the marriage in which she was participated was void because Sterling was not a man (he still has some female sex organs).

The Court of Appeals accepted the trial court’s judgment that the marriage was void and that Sterling was not a man. Sterling was left with visitation rights.

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