2018-03-23

Fourteen years ago, Karen * gave birth to a daughter. A girl like other girls, but with a Y-chromosome, that's how Karen describes it herself. This Y-chromosome caused her daughter to develop testicles during pregnancy. Her body was insensitive to the testosterone that the testicles produce, so she developed as a girl. Coincidentally, Karen knew that something like that sometimes happens. Shortly before the delivery, she saw a documentary about children born with a variation in sex characteristics. She was already startled by the lack of specific support for parents of these children. After the birth of her own child, she experienced it herself.

"For me this is not a political game, it's about my sweet, wonderful daughter"

Fourteen years ago, Karen* gave birth to a daughter. A girl like other girls, but with a Y-chromosome, that's how Karen describes it herself. This Y-chromosome caused her daughter to develop testicles during pregnancy. Her body was insensitive to the testosterone that the testicles produce, so she developed as a girl. Coincidentally, Karen knew that something like that sometimes happens. Shortly before the delivery, she saw a documentary about children born with a variation in sex characteristics. She was already startled by the lack of specific support for parents of these children. After the birth of her own child, she experienced it herself.

Nearly two percent of the population (as many as the number of redheads in the world) is born with a variation in sex characteristics. They are children with other chromosomes, reproductive organs, gonads or genitals than what is typically expected for boys or girls. How are parents and children taken care of when a baby is born with intersex in Flanders? Mother Karen, researchers Dr. Joz Motmans and Dr. Nina Callens, both associated with UGent, Piet Hoebeke, pediatric urologist and professor of Urology at Ghent University, and politician Ann Brusseel, expose the most important health and social challenges in Flanders.

Selma Franssen

Selma Franssen is a freelance journalist.
A working grant of € 1.000 allocated on 21/12/2017.
ID
FPD/2017/1423
Grant
Fonds Pascal Decroos