Parents in ongoing legal battle over 3-year-old South Florida boy's circumcision
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -- The court fight continues for a 3-year-old boy whose father wants him to be circumcised, but his mother does not.
At issue is a custody agreement they both signed, which stipulated that their son, Chase, would be circumcised under arrangements by the father, Dennis Nebus. Nebus and the boy's mother, Heather Hironimus, never got married.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen issued a final order Friday, allowing Nebus, of Boca Raton, to circumcise his son, but Hironimus appealed to a higher court and won a stay on Wednesday.
According to Gillen's order, Hironimus signed a parenting plan in December 2011 and Nebus signed it about a week later, calling for Nebus to arrange for a circumcision. The agreement was entered into the court record Jan. 2, 2012.
Hironimus, who lives in Boynton Beach, soon changed her mind about the circumcision, saying it was not medically necessary and could be risky with general anesthesia.
Pediatric urologist Charles Flack told the judge that circumcision is not medically necessary but said "penile cancer only occurs in uncircumcised males," according to the judge's order, and it reduces the risk of HIV infection.
Citing several studies, the American Cancer Society suggests that good hygiene is a major preventive for such cancers, and circumcision is not necessary for this benefit. They also advise avoiding smoking and HPV, or genital warts.
Flack told the judge that the procedure is medically acceptable for boys up to age 10, after which it becomes problematic with the possibility of torn sutures as boys reach puberty.
In his order, Gillen ordered Hironimus to help facilitate the circumcision and wrote that she "shall not in any way lead (Chase) to believe that she is or was opposed to his being circumcised, whether or not she accompanies (Chase) to the procedure."
The stay was issued by the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach.
Hironimus had raised $3,840 by Wednesday afternoon for her legal fight via a GoFundMe page online.
GoFundMe page: http://www.gofundme.com/91dm9w
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ChasesGuardians