15:37, January 20 79 0 theguardian.com

2020-01-20 15:37:04
Transgender woman ends bid to see her ultra-Orthodox Jewish children

An ultra-Orthodox Jew who left her community to transition from male to female has abandoned a family court fight to see her five children.

The woman has not seen the children since leaving the north Manchester Haredi Jewish community in 2015.

She had said she wanted to be “sensitively reintroduced” to them, but her estranged wife said allowing the children to see her could lead to them being ostracised by the community.

Lawyers representing the woman have now told a judge that she has withdrawn an application for an order allowing her to have contact with the children. Mr Justice Hayden, who was told the children did not want to see the woman, drew the litigation to a close at a private hearing in London on Monday.

The judge, based in the family division of the high court in London, said little detail could be reported and the family could not be identified in media reports of the case. But he said the public should know that litigation had ended.

He said the woman had decided that pursuing her contact application would be “emotionally harmful” to the children. Hayden described the family as “courageous” and said he hoped they could move forward.

Another judge had initially analysed the case at a hearing in Manchester. Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that the children should not see the woman, but should be allowed to exchange letters and cards. She challenged that decision at a court of appeal hearing in London.

Appeal judges then ruled in her favour and said Hayden should reconsider evidence.

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