A court considers whether a boy can be forced to be circumcised, just because his Dad wants him to.
The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the wishes of a 12-year-old boy should be considered in a dispute between his divorced parents about whether he is circumcised, reports CBS News. The father converted to Judaism in 2004 and wants the boy to be circumcised as part of the faith. The mother appealed to the high court, saying the operation could harm her son physically and psychologically.
If the trial court finds the child agrees to be circumcised, the Supreme Court said, it should deny the mother's requests. But if the trial court finds the child opposes the circumcision, the court has to determine if it will affect the father's ability to care for the child.
We contacted friend of Mom•Logic Rabbi Sherre Hirsch for her take on the matter. "Jewish law says that before the age of 13, parents may convert their sons without their consent. (For daughters, that cut-off age is 12.) Because this boy is 12, and right on the border, I'd advise waiting until the boy is 13 so that he can make the decision for himself. At 13, if the boy didn't want to be Jewish in the first place, he can reject a prior conversion—but a circumcision is irreversible."
Do you think the boy should be circumcised just because his Dad is in favor of it? At what point should kids be able to make decisions about their own bodies for themselves?