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Couple Suing SC, Hospital Over ‘Unnecessary Sexual Assignment Surgery’ On Child They Adopted

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File photo of a courtroom. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a courtroom. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (CBS Charlotte/AP) — A couple is suing the state of South Carolina for what they say was unnecessary sexual assignment surgery on a toddler they adopted.

Lawyers for Pam and Mark Crawford said Tuesday they are suing the Department of Social Services for having irreversible surgery performed on a 16-month-old child they eventually adopted and raised as a girl. The child now wants to be identified as a boy.

According to WIS-TV, the lawsuit states that doctors “radically restructure[d] his reproductive organs in order to make his body appear to be female” after they found “ambiguous genitals” on the child.

“Children’s bodies should not be allowed to be mutilated,” Pam Crawford told The State. “It’s a practice that has to be stopped. Parents need to know that (the condition is) OK.”

The Crawfords knew their child had been born with ambiguous genitalia and raised the child as a girl.

About a year ago, the Crawfords say their 8-year-old child told them he wanted to be raised as a boy. The couple says they don’t want other families to have to endure the struggles they have.

“It’s too late for my son, but we want to put other doctors on notice,” Mark Crawford told WIS-TV.

Spokeswomen for DSS and the Medical University of South Carolina did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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