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Trans Dad Continues Legal Battle To Be Registered ‘Father’ On Child’s Birth Certificate

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 26 Oct 2019 14:02
Trans Dad Continues Legal Battle To Be Registered 'Mother' On Child's Birth CertificateTrans Dad Continues Legal Battle To Be Registered 'Mother' On Child's Birth CertificateBBC/ITV

A transgender man who gave birth but does not want to be described as ‘mother’ on a birth certificate, is continuing his legal battle.

Freddy McConnell, 32, wants to be registered as his child’s father or parent, however a judge ruled against his wishes at a High Court trial in London last month.

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Now, the father-of-one has been given the go-ahead to take his case to the Court of Appeal after a judge analysed written submissions and decided McConnell has an arguable case.

Trans Dad Continues Legal Battle To Be Registered 'Mother' On Child's Birth CertificateTrans Dad Continues Legal Battle To Be Registered 'Mother' On Child's Birth CertificateBBC

At this stage, court officials say no date has been fixed for any appeal hearing, the MailOnline reports.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, who is the president of the Family Division of the High Court, ruled against McConnell’s wishes in September on the basis that people who give birth are legally mothers, regardless of their gender.

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Lawyer and founder of A City Law Firm, Karen Holden, represented McConnell, and said she was disappointed with the result.

She said the ruling showed how the law was slow ‘to keep up with modern society.’

McConnell, who works as a journalist for The Guardian, was biologically able to get pregnant and give birth but had already legally become a man when the child was born.

Trans Dad Continues Legal Battle To Be Registered 'Mother' On Child's Birth CertificateTrans Dad Continues Legal Battle To Be Registered 'Mother' On Child's Birth CertificateBBC
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A registrar told him that the law required people who give birth to be registered as mothers.

He then took legal action against the General Register Office, where births and deaths are registered in England and Wales.

In his ruling, Sir Andrew said:

There is a material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent.

Being a ‘mother’, whilst hitherto always associated with being female, is the status afforded to a person who undergoes the physical and biological process of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth.

It is now medically and legally possible for an individual, whose gender is recognised in law as male, to become pregnant and give birth to their child.

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While that person’s gender is ‘male’, their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of ‘mother’.

McConnell first started taking testosterone at the age of 25, and had his breast tissue removed the following year, however he never had a hysterectomy to remove his uterus because he hadn’t ruled out wanting children.

He conceived through IVF treatment after using a sperm donor and stopped taking testosterone in a bid to become pregnant.

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Lawyers say the child will be the first person born in England and Wales not to legally have a mother if the claim succeeds.

McConnell was filmed over three years as part of a BBC documentary called Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth.

After carrying his son for a few months, McConnell said in the doc:

If all men got pregnant then pregnancy would be taken so more seriously and talked about.

F*ck, it’s f*cking awful. If men had to go through this all the time you would never hear the end of it.

Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8 pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Law, LGBTQ+, Parenting, Trans Rights

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MailOnline
  1. MailOnline

    Transgender man who gave birth but does not want to be called 'mother' on birth certificate vows to continue legal fight after losing High Court battle