“Can Happen Anywhere” — Parents in Indiana Warn Nation After Child is Taken from Home for Improper Pronoun Usage

An Indiana Catholic couple is asking the Supreme Court to hold the state responsible for keeping their child out of their home after they refused to use his chosen pronouns and name.

In the case, M.C. and J.C. vs. Indiana Department of Child Services, Mary and Jeremy Cox are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court after officials in Indiana investigated them for not referring to their son using a name and pronouns inconsistent with the child’s biological sex.

Becket, on behalf of the Coxes, is pursuing the case and arguing that state courts allowed Indiana to keep the child from residing in the home of his parents because they disagreed with their child’s gender identity because of their religious beliefs. 

Of note, once completing the investigation, Indiana determined the allegations against Jeremy and Mary were not supported but still argued that the disagreement with their son over gender identity was distressing.

Senior counsel and vice president at Becket, Lori Windham, said that no parent should ever endure what Jeremy and Mary have been made to endure.

“Keeping a child away from loving parents because of their religious beliefs — even when the state admits there was no abuse or neglect — is wrong, and it’s against the law,” said Windham. “The Court should take this case and make clear that other states can’t take children away because of ideological disagreements.”

Mary and Jeremy’s son told them in 2019 that he identified as female. Still, in line with their religious Catholic beliefs that God created human beings with an immutable sex, female or male, they didn’t believe in calling him by a name and pronouns that weren’t consistent with his biology.

Additionally, the Coxes believed their son struggled with mental health conditions underlying, including an eating disorder, so they searched out therapeutic care for both.

However, in 2021, officials in Indiana started investigating the parents after a report found they weren’t referring to their child by his preferred gender identity. They then removed the teen from the parent’s custody and placed him in a “gender-affirming” home.

Abuse claims are unsubstantiated; child was removed anyway

Despite the claims of the abuse being determined to be unsubstantiated, they claimed the Coxes worsened the child’s eating disorder, even though it grew worse after he was removed from the home and sent to a transition-affirming home.

The Indiana Department of Child Services, when asked for comment from Fox News Digital, said, “DCS does not comment on ongoing litigation.”

“This what every parent is afraid of,” said Jeremy and Mary Cox in a press release. “We love our son and wanted to care for him, but the state of Indiana robbed us of that opportunity by taking him from our home and banning us from speaking to him about gender.”

“We are hopeful that the Justices will take our case and protect other parents from having to endure the nightmare we did,” added the parents.

When the case was heard initially in the trial court, Indiana officials argued that the child “should be in a home where she is [ac]cepted for who she is” and restricted visitation time with the child’s parents to a few hours once a week, barring them from speaking to their child about their religious views on gender identity and human sexuality. Although the court determined Jeremy and Mary Cox were fit parents, it upheld the child’s removal, which was then later upheld by an appeals court.“If this can happen in Indiana, it can happen anywhere,” said Windham. “Tearing a child away from loving parents because of their religious beliefs, which are shared by millions of Americans, is an outrage to the law, parental rights, and basic human decency. If the Supreme Court doesn’t take this case, how many times will this happen to other families?”