Transgender teen in Montgomery County denied name change petition.
Court/Assoc.: Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas
Attorneys/Firms: Molly Tack-Hooper (ACLU-PA); Lauren Long (Reed Smith LLP)
On March 1, 2016, the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a name change petition on behalf of a Montgomery County transgender seventeen-year-old and his mother, asking the court to change the teen’s first name to “Aidan,” a name consistent with his gender identity and expression. Aidan and his mother, Melissa, had previously filed a name change petition on their own when Aidan was sixteen, which the court denied without explanation in the fall of 2015. The new court filings lay out evidence (including the testimony of Aidan, his parents, and his psychotherapist) that changing Aidan’s first name to conform to his gender identity is an essential part of his transition process and unquestionably in his best interests.
The ACLU redacted from the public filings Aidan’s personally identifiable information and medical history and has asked the court for permission to file the un-redacted versions under seal to protect Aidan’s well-being and safety. The court filings attest to the fact that transgender teens are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence.
On May 25, 2016, the court held a hearing on the petition and granted the name change.