Oregon Supreme Court to consider circumcision dispute

A dispute over whether the 12-year-old son of divorced parents should undergo circumcision for religious reasons will be decided by the Oregon Supreme Court.

James Boldt, a former Medford resident, sought the procedure for his son after Boldt converted to Judaism.

But his ex-wife, Lia Boldt, claims her son is afraid to tell his father that he does not want to undergo the procedure.

She also has asked for a hearing to present evidence that her son could suffer physical or psychological harm.

So far, lower courts have sided with the father, who is the custodial parent.

In court papers, Boldt claims his son eventually decided that he wanted to convert to Judaism and understood that he needed to be circumcised.

He also claims that a custodial parent has a constitutional right to raise his son in his religion.

Lia Boldt persuaded a Jackson County judge in 2004 to block the circumcision initially. The judge later sided with the father, but ordered him not to have the circumcision done until the appeals were done.

The Oregon Court of Appeals rejected Lia Boldt’s request without an opinion, an indication her appeal was considered to be without merit, making the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision to take the case somewhat unusual.

More than a million U.S. infants are circumcised each year, but circumcising adults or teens remains relatively rare.

— The Associated Press

Share This Story