KGH doctor ‘gives away’ baby with intersex traits to transgender group
National Council for Transgender Persons seeks an inquiry into the incident
A doctor in King George Hospital here has allegedly given away a newborn baby with intersex traits to a group of transgender people.
The incident reportedly happened sometime in the third week of May and the baby is now allegedly in the custody of a Nayak from the Hijra Jamaat.
Gopi Shankar, southern regional representative of the National Council for Transgender Persons, received information about this incident in a formal complaint.
The baby was allegedly abandoned by the parents after they were informed that it was born with intersex traits.
“Primarily, one should understand that such babies who are termed as intersex infants are not transgenders. They may be born with diverse sex characteristics which cannot be classified as male, female or transgender,” said Gopi Shankar.
According to Gopi Shankar, the term transgender refers to diverse gender identity and expressions of a person whereas intersex is sex characteristics, and most importantly, such babies cannot be handed over to transgenders without following the legal procedures, even if parents abandon the child.
According to law, abandoned children are required to be produced before the District Child Welfare Committee (CWC). It is the responsibility of the CWC to arrange a shelter home for the child and take care of their well-being until they can be legally adopted.
Gopi Shankar also confirmed that sex selective surgery, unless there is an emergency need, cannot be performed, as it is banned by the Madras High Court and not recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In Tamil Nadu, it was banned by a GO in 2019. It was the first State to protect intersex infants from unnecessary medical interventions in the country and second in the world after Malta, said Gopi Shankar.
“We wish that the authorities concerned, including the CWC, the District Collector and the Commissioner of Police, take up the issue and see that an inquiry is initiated. The State government should think of passing an order on the lines of Tamil Nadu,” Gopi Shankar said.
“More than 10,000 intersex infants are born in India. They are at risk of forced medical interventions such as sex selective surgeries. They are also at risk of being trafficked or being handed over to the Hijra Jamaat or Haveli, if parents disown them,” said Gopi Shankar.
Meanwhile, senior officials in KGH said that no such thing had come to their notice. They would conduct an inquiry if there was an official complaint. They said that such children were normally handed over to government shelter homes.