Michelle and Kyle's baby, Aubrey, was born intersex, with ambiguous genitalia and chromosomes indicating that she was 70 percent more male than female. But in consultation with Aubrey’s doctors, Michelle and Kyle decided on surgery to have Aubrey be female, the birth certificate indicates that Aubrey is a female, and for the first three years of Aubrey's life, her parents raised her as a girl.
Now divorced and with shared custody of Aubrey, who's 4, the exes are at odds over which gender Aubrey identifies with and how they should raise her.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Aubrey is a little boy," says Michelle, who took Aubrey to have her ponytails traded for a buzz cut, she says, after Aubrey's plea to do so. "It's heartbreaking to see Aubrey struggle with having to go to his dad's house to be a girl, and then he gets to come home to my house and be a boy ... I just want Kyle to accept Aubrey for who he wants to be."
But Kyle says Aubrey prefers girl toys, girl clothes, and her pink Hello Kitty bedding. "When Aubrey is with me, Aubrey likes to act like a girl," he says. "Michelle needs to take a look at that birth certificate and see that Aubrey is female. She shouldn't be trying to change that," says Kyle, who is remarried to a woman named Brittany, who wrote in to Dr. Phil for help.
How can this child thrive when the parents, Dr. Phil believes, are each running their own agenda? This episode of Dr. Phil, “Mama's Little Boy or Daddy's Little Girl: Identity Confusion or Brainwashing?”, airs Friday.
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