Montana Christian Family Loses Custody Battle Over Daughter’s Gender Transition

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James Lasher

A Montana couple, Krista and Todd Kolstad, is facing a heart-wrenching battle after losing custody of their 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer, who expressed a desire to transition her gender. The family’s ordeal began when Jennifer’s statements about suicidal thoughts prompted Child Protective Services (CPS) to intervene in August 2023.

Krista Kolstad shared with the Daily Mail the devastating impact on their family, stating, “It’s been horrible… Our family unit will never be the same.” The Kolstads argue that Jennifer’s troubled upbringing, marked by a tumultuous relationship with her birth mother and instances of bullying at school, contributed to her struggles.

Mr. Kolstad emphasized his love for his daughter, expressing concern about the decision to transition at a young age. He said, “I love my daughter unconditionally and only want her to refrain from making decisions until she has the maturity and life experiences to understand the consequences.”

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The Kolstads’ case is not an isolated incident, as another Christian family from Indiana, Jeremy and Mary Cox, has also faced custody challenges due to their refusal, for religious reasons, to let their son identify as a girl. The Coxes, evangelical Christians, lost custody in June 2021 after concerns were raised about the teen’s physical and emotional well-being.

In a show of support, a California mom, Abigail Martinez, who lost custody of her daughter Yaeli in 2016, filed a document backing Mr. and Mrs. Cox. Yaeli was placed on testosterone and later died by suicide, raising questions about the consequences of such decisions.

The Kolstads allege that when CPS intervened, their objections to Jennifer’s immediate gender transition were dismissed. Despite Montana’s ban on medical transitioning for minors, the hospital argued that “social transition” fell into a “gray area of the law.”

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The situation escalated when Jennifer was placed under 24-hour supervision, and discussions about gender-affirming care were allegedly pushed onto her by an aide. Concerned about facilities in Wyoming, which allows gender-affirming care for minors, the Kolstads found themselves facing removal of their daughter from their care.

Mr. and Mrs. Kolstad were assigned a public defender who advised them to comply with CPS recommendations. Despite their efforts to raise concerns, they ultimately lost custody of Jennifer on Jan.19, with CPS asserting that allowing her to be transgender is in her “therapeutic interest.”

CPS now has custody of Jennifer for six months, after which the plan is to place her with her birth mother in Canada. The Kolstads, defying a judge’s order to remain silent, continue to speak out about their case, shedding light on the erosion of parental rights and religious freedom.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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