Parents Battle Over Toddler's Foreskin

3-year-old's mother doesn't want him circumcised, but his father does

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 17, 2014 7:08 AM CDT
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(Newser) – The fate of a 3-year-old boy's foreskin is playing out in Florida's courtrooms. The boy's mother, Heather Hironimus, doesn't want him circumcised, but father Dennis Nebus disagrees, reports the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. The two never married, but when they broke up in 2011, they signed a custody agreement for son Chase that stipulated Nebus would arrange and pay for the boy's circumcision, explains Salon. Nebus didn't exactly rush to get it done, and now Hironimus has changed her mind. The matter ended up in court, and while a judge agreed that Nebus could still go ahead with the procedure, a higher court issued a stay this week, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Hironimus contends that the procedure isn't medically necessary and even a little dangerous now that Chase is nearly 4 and would need a general anesthetic. She has started a GoFundMe page "to help me save my son (and) his foreskin." Nebus is not commenting publicly. The case, meanwhile, has become a flash point for the debate over the pros and cons of circumcision, notes Gawker. Just this week, a study in JAMA Pedatrics concluded that while the risks associated with circumcision are low overall, they do rise considerably if the procedure isn't done in the child's first year, reports Reuters. (Click to read about a similar legal fight in Israel, and about how the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks the procedure's benefits outweigh the risks.)

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