Oregon court holds boy must be consulted on circumcision
By Complied by the Jewish Review and JTA
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Lower courts must consider a 12-year-old’s opinion in deciding a parental battle over circumcision.
The decision Jan. 25 by the Oregon Supreme Court returns to the lower courts a case pitting the father, a former Medford resident who now lives near Olympia, Wash., against his ex-wife.
The mother filed for divorce in 1998.
The man began studying Judaism in 1999 and converted in 2004.
The couple’s son first lived with his mother after the couple separated, but the father eventually gained custody, a legal status which reportedly allows him to make decisions regarding the child’s religious orientation.
The father has claimed in legal documents that his son gradually decided that he too wanted to convert to Judaism.
However, when the father scheduled the circumcision procedure in 2004, the mother went to court claiming her son had told her he did not want the procedure and was fearful of defying his father.
Four national Jewish groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the case supporting the father, noting that groups who hope to make the practice illegal are supporting the mother.
The Jewish groups are the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Orthodox Union and the Anti-Defamation League.