Oregon Supreme Court Will Be First to Rule on Whether Sole Custodial Parent Decides Whether Child Has Circumcision as Part of Religious Conversion

Father is awarded full (or sole) custody of his son.

Father converts to Judaism and puts boy on educational path to his own religious conversion.

Jewish law requires males to be circumcised. The procedure is typically undergone in infancy.

This boy was nine years old when the issue arose.

Mother opposes the procedure, citing potential health concerns and contending that it is abusive.

Each parent claims that the child, now twelve years old, agrees with him or her. But the boy has been given no direct voice in the proceedings.

The lower court ruled in favor of the Father, agreeing that the Mother is not entitled to a full evidentiary hearing on this issue for the reasons below, as argued by the Father.

The Father argued that the decision is not a proper subject for a court’s consideration because:

  • the decision is an exercise of freedom of religion under the US Constitution and
  • the decision is an exercise of the custodial parent’s fundamental right to parent and make decisions for their child under the US Constitution

The Oregon Supreme Court is reportedly the highest US court to hear a circumcision case. Many anxiously await the court’s ruling.

Read more in this New York Sun article: Ore. Court Mulls Circumcision Case.