A California father lost custody of his transgender-identifying 16-year-old child after declaring his opposition to hormone therapy and after the judge asked the dad if he believes transgenderism “is a sin,” according to a new report.
The father, Ted Hudacko, expressed unconditional love for his biological son in court proceedings before California Superior Court Judge Joni Hiramoto, who continually asked the dad if he could affirm the child’s self-identity. The child, a biological male, identifies as female and prefers they/them pronouns.
Because of the father’s position, he eventually lost all parental rights, with no ability to see his child and no right to stop any medical treatments that could leave the child permanently infertile, according to the report.
The shocking case was detailed in a news story in the City Journal by author and writer Abigail Shrier, who calls the child “Drew” in the report.
The case began in 2019 but became public this month. Hudacko’s wife, who supported the child’s transition, had filed for divorce, according to the story.
The father expressed unease about hormone treatments, asking the judge “to consider research that suggested puberty blockers could impair cognition and diminish bone density,” Shrier reported. Hormone treatment, the father said, could make the child permanently infertile – a major concern if his child later decides to de-transition.
“He wasn’t even sure that his son had gender dysphoria,” Shrier wrote. “He wanted to see his son – and he wanted this bullet train to slow down.”
The father remembered his child having a crush on a girl in the fifth grade.
“[D]o you think that being transgender is a sin?” the judge asked, according to the court transcript.
“No, of course, I don’t think it’s a sin,” the father replied.
“So you don’t think that it’s a sin,” the judge said. “But you probably think that [Drew], if they are truly transgender, you would prefer that [Drew] not be transgender because, in our society, transgender people are the subject of a lot of discrimination. Would you agree with that?”
“I agree that transgender people suffer some discrimination and prejudice. I agree with that,” the father answered.
The father acknowledged that the child “might be” transgender, yet that alone was not enough for the judge to continue his parental rights.
“It sounds to me that you would prefer that [Drew], when all is said and done, is just going through a phase,” the judge said. “Is that a fair assessment?”
The father avoided answering the question, believing the judge was trying to trap him, Shrier reported.
“In the three years I’ve spent writing about families with transgender-identifying minors, the story of Ted Hudacko stood out as a case study of how gender ideology has infiltrated family law,” Shrier wrote. “It also frames the unintended consequences of medical professionals’ fudging science, rewriting medical definitions, and tolerating shoddy research to placate activists. At each stage, doctors may have thought: Where was the harm? And so, as a consequence, judges now decide the fate of children and their families based on phony, medically unsubstantiated metaphysics, as if it were factual that all adolescents have an immutable, ineffable ‘gender identity,’ knowable only to the adolescents themselves.”
Last year, the father was “stunned” to see a $209,820.34 charge on his insurance statement. It was the cost of a puberty-blocking implant and cross-sex hormone treatments.
Meanwhile, the judge failed to disclose that her own child is transgender – and that she, on social media, is publicly supportive. Shrier called it a conflict of interest.
The California Policy Council says the case is a tragic example of “groupthink.”
“The system within our country and state that is meant to protect and establish justice has done the exact opposite,” the council said. “This case should frighten and awaken our entire country. Our own judicial system is under attack by dangerous gender ideology, and if we don’t boldly stand up now, the trend will continue, and parents’ rights will be dependent on their wokeness.”
Photo courtesy: Juliane Liebermann/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.