Family seeks help for intersex child kicked out of school

A family is in a dilemma after their child was kicked out of school for having both male and female sex organs.

According to the step-father, the child was born on April 25, 2007. A health card issued at the hospital indicated the child was male. "But we have now changed to a girl’s name following a doctor’s advice,” he said, showing a medical report from the county referral hospital dated March 18, 2013, where the child was examined and found to have both sex organs.

“The male sexual organ is dormant and no activity was noted, while the female sexual organ is active, as demonstrated by the child’s characteristics when passing urine. Meanwhile, the child can be identified as a girl to await future development to facilitate an easier learning environment,” reads part of the medical record.

The step-father said he enrolled the child in a public school in Kiganjo town this term, but after the head teacher knew about the child's condition, the school demanded a birth certificate and the child was expelled.

But the child’s mother had not applied for a birth certificate at birth. This raised another thorny question of what gender to indicate on the birth certificate application forms, given the conflicting sexes in the birth health card and the most recent medical report. “If we indicate she is a boy on her birth certificate, yet she is identified as a girl, we shall be lying. And there is no option of leaving it blank on the document,” the distraught step-father said.

Fearful that the child may lack basic education, he has been camping at the Government offices seeking advice on how to get the child back to school.

The Deputy Director for Education Mwangi Kabora advised the parents to take the child to school immediately, adding that the law was clear on children's right to education.