11.09.2023 News Doerner

Wright Published in the OBA Journal

Attorney Kensey Wright was recently published in the November edition of the Oklahoma Bar Journal. In her article, Kensey addresses the subject of custody with gender-expansive children. She identifies the three primary approaches used for treating a gender-expansive child, including the affirmative approach, the reparative approach and the Dutch Protocol to lead into her article’s primary focus of the Best Interest Analysis to explore how it is used to evaluate custodial determination for gender-expansive children. 

The Best Interest Analysis evaluates the well-being of a minor child. In Oklahoma, judges are tasked with making custody and visitation decisions based on a “best interest of the child” standard, which is largely discretionary and provides more flexibility in addressing individual families and children. Kensey’s article explains how Courts are no longer viewing sexual orientation as grounds for a loss of custody based on shifting societal norms and scientific evidence.

In closing, Kensey shares several important influential factors to consider to support the custodial determination of gender-expansive children. She mentions the following factors are evidence valued by Courts to support the legitimacy of a child’s expressed gender preference: the inclusion of treating physicians, a presentation of data, the child’s age, a parental response from both parents and access to education to better understand gender-expansive children.

To read Kensey’s article in its entirety, click here.