Stop Doctors From Forcibly Assigning Gender Through Surgery

Intersex Rights

Target: South Carolina lawmakers

Goal: Condemn doctors for using sex-assignment surgery to choose the gender of an intersex baby in foster care and make it illegal for this type of decision to be made in the future.

Doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, along with the Department of Social Services, decided to use surgery to assign a gender to an intersex baby that was in foster care. At 16 months old, baby M.C. was unable to give consent for the procedure, nor was he able to realize his gender identity, so when the now 8-year-old recently came out as male to his adoptive parents, there was only one problem – the doctors already assigned him female. This will forever affect young M.C.’s life, and it must be stopped before more intersex children in the care of the state are forced into this life changing decision.

Mark and Pam Crawford adopted their son M.C. when he was just 2 years old, but when the child was born in 2004, he was born intersex, having parts of both the male and female reproductive systems. When the decision was made by the doctors at MUSC, along with the SC DSS, to make M.C. appear as a female, they did not know he would ever realize his true identity as male. Now, because M.C. has come out to his parents, doctors, and teachers as a male, the female gender assignment that was forced on him at barely a year old will inevitably hinder his ability to transition to full male in the future. The completely irreversible sex-assignment operation that was performed on M.C. as a baby will without a doubt affect his chance at ever living in the body he feels he is supposed to be in.

This thoughtless decision by the doctors and the state of South Carolina has forever changed M.C.’s life, but it doesn’t have to happen to other intersex foster children. By signing this petition, you are asking lawmakers in South Carolina to condemn the doctors for performing sex-assignment operations on intersex foster children, as well as demanding that this practice be made illegal from this point forward.


Dear South Carolina lawmakers,

M.C. was born intersex, and at 16 months old, while under the care of the state of South Carolina, a sex-assignment operation was performed on him by doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina that removed M.C.’s male genitalia and ultimately made him female. Now, at 8 years old, M.C. identifies as male, but the decision that the doctors and the state made for him when he was too young to give consent for such a procedure will affect him for the rest of his life. M.C. will never be able to live fully as a male because of the poor decision made by those who were responsible for his care.

Mark and Pam Crawford adopted M.C. not long after the gender reassignment surgery was performed on him, and while the child is biologically female, he has realized now that he is in fact male. The Crawfords have sued MUSC and the DSS for their decision to operate on M.C. as a baby, but it goes further then this case alone. There is no law in place that protects intersex foster children from having their gender assigned to them while under the care of the state, and this cannot be the case any longer.

I am asking you to think about the future of children like M.C. who may never have the opportunity to be who they are meant to be if this situation happens to them. I hope that you, as lawmaker for the state of South Carolina, will not only condemn the doctors at MUSC and officials at the DSS for their thoughtless decision, but also take the necessary steps to make this practice illegal.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Guillaume Paumier via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Gen Agustsson Gen Agustsson says:

    Its not fair to parents of hermaphrodite babies

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