On Tuesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) on behalf of couple whose adopted child, M.C., underwent sex re-assignment surgery while in the custody of the state. The suit was also filed against individual doctors and social workers. SCDSS decided to have the child, who was born with both testicular and ovarian tissue, undergo surgery to make M.C. a girl at the age of sixteen months. Now eight years old, M.C. identifies as a boy.
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed lawsuits on behalf of the family in both state and federal court. The lawsuits allege that the SCDSS violated the child’s due process rights to bodily integrity, privacy, and liberty by subjecting M.C. to a procedure that was both painful and medically unnecessary. The parents are seeking a declaratory judgment as well as compensatory damages.