A judge in the United Kingdom ruled that a couple may send their 4-year-old foster son to school in girl’s clothing after allowing him to identify as a girl.

High Court Justice David Williams of the Royal Courts of Justice in Westminster decreed that despite objections by social services of Lancashire County, which had argued that the unnamed couple had “acted in a precipitate manner in relation to perceived gender dysphoria,” the boy should not be removed from his parents’ care as had been requested by Lancashire council officials.

According to the Daily Mail, experts had given glowing reports about the parents and their parenting skills. However, school officials had expressly asked the parents to refrain from sending “H” in girls’ clothing.

The judge’s decision to sanction the gender transitioning of such a young child is believed to be unprecedented in the UK.

During a closed hearing in April, Justice Williams praised the “attuned and careful” foster parents, who requested the judgment be made public so that there would be no “cloud of suspicion hanging over them.” The boy was identified as “H” in court records.

According to Justice Williams, “Issues relating to gender identity and the medical understanding of such issues is complex and developing. Inevitably, there is some lag between those professionals at the cutting edge and others, in which I include myself, which might have played some role in how these proceedings came about.”

Experts testified in court that “H,” in their view, showed behavior “consistent with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.” They advised that they “provided clinical justification” for the parents to foster gender transitioning. Justice Williams found that “H” identified as a “content, alert and socially engaged little girl.” He determined that “H” was not harmed by a “complete transition into a female occurring at a very young age,” saying there was not evidence “it was actively encouraged rather than appropriately supported.”

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