South Fla. mother seeks court ruling to stop son's circumcision

Heather Hironimus doesn't want son, now 3, to be circumcised, despite earlier agreement

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A South Florida mother has been granted an emergency motion for review in front of an appellate court in her quest to prevent her 3-year-old son's father from having him circumcised.

Delray Beach attorney Taryn G. Sinatra told Local10.com that the Fourth District Court of Appeal granted the motion Wednesday after a Palm Beach County judge denied her emergency motion to stay a court order upholding a 2012 agreed parenting plan that included a provision to circumcise her client's child.

According to a May 9 court order enforcing that plan, Heather Hironimus and Dennis Nebus had a child together on Halloween 2010. Although they were never married, Hironimus and Nebus are the legal and biological parents of the boy.

Hironimus signed the plan Dec. 22, 2011. Nebus followed with his signature Jan. 3, 2012. The order was rendered three days later.

The agreement stated that the father is responsible for scheduling and paying for the boy's circumcision.

Now that the boy is 3 and hasn't yet been circumcised, Hironimus would rather keep it that way, Sinatra said.

"My client's position is he's 3-and-a-half," Sinatra said. "There's no medical reason to do it."

During a May 7 hearing, Hironimus testified that circumcision "was not medically necessary and she did not want to have the parties' son undergo requisite general anesthesia for fear of death."

However, Judge Jeffrey Gillen ruled that there's no reason why Hironimus and Nebus shouldn't abide by the parenting agreement, granting Nebus permission to circumcise the boy.

Gillen's ruling stated that she "expressed no other reason for now objecting to the procedure to which she'd already agreed in the parenting plan."

"The best interest of the child should always trump" any such agreement, Sinatra said.

During the hearing, a pediatric urologist said he would not circumcise the boy at this age, Sinatra said. But there was no mention of that in Gillen's ruling.

"While Dr. (Charles) Flack did opine that the procedure was not medically necessary, significantly, he advised the court and the parties that penile cancer occurs only in uncircumcised males and uncircumcised males have a higher risk of HIV infection than circumcised males," the ruling stated.

Sinatra said she has until next Friday to file her appellate brief.

West Palm Beach attorney Catherine S. Eaton, who represents Nebus, said in an email that she would need approval from her client to speak about the ongoing saga.