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Court gives boy say in circumcision

The Oregon Supreme Court says the wishes of a 12-year-old boy must be determined in a fight between his divorced parents over whether he should be circumcised.

The father, James Boldt, converted to Judaism in 2004 and wants the boy to be circumcised as part of the faith, saying the decision is best left to the custodial parent. Lower courts sided with the father.

The mother, Lia Boldt, appealed to the high court, asking for custody and saying the operation could harm her son physically and psychologically.

The case has drawn attention from Jewish groups concerned that the Oregon court might restrict the practice and from Doctors Opposing Circumcision, backing the mother and saying there is “no more important decision to make for a male child.”

The decision Friday said lower courts failed to determine whether the boy wanted the circumcision, as his father contended, or opposed it, as his mother alleged.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the trial court to answer that question.


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