Transgender man loses fight to be named 'father' on his baby's birth certificate
26 September 2019, 11:22
Freddy believes forcing the label of 'mother' on him is a breach of his human rights.
A transgender man has lost the fight to be named as his child's father on the birth certificate.
Freddy McConnell, 32, who was born a woman, was battling to be registered as his baby's father or simply just 'parent' after giving birth while legally registered as a man.
The High Court ruled against his wishes on Wednesday and said his parental status had to come from the fact he gave birth to the baby, which only a 'mother' could do, according to judge Sir Andrew McFarlane.
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The President of the Family Division explained: "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.
"Whilst that person's gender is 'male', their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of 'mother'."
Freddy, who refers to himself as the "dad who gave birth", told his Twitter followers he was "saddened" by the court's decision and revealed his fears it could have damaging repercussions on other families.
He wrote: "I’m saddened by the court’s decision not to allow trans men to be recorded as father or parent on their children's birth certificates.
"I fear this decision has distressing implications for many kinds of families. I will seek to appeal and give no more interviews at this stage."
I’m saddened by the court’s decision not to allow trans men to be recorded as father or parent on their children's birth certificates.— Freddy McConnell (@freddymcconnell) September 25, 2019
I fear this decision has distressing implications for many kinds of families. I will seek to appeal and give no more interviews at this stage.
Freddy had taken action against the General Register Office, which logs births and deaths in England and Wales, to avoid being put down as a female on the document.
But following the judge's decision, he must now be officially named as the child's mother.
The Guardian journalist, who this August released a film about his journey, sought help from a sperm donor to get pregnant, although it's not known who the baby's genetic father is.
He was biologically able to carry his child and give birth, but was legally recognised as male at the time.
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The writer campaigned against being officially named as 'mother' and argued that forcing it upon him was a breach of his human right to a private life.
Barrister Hannah Markham QC, fighting on Freddy's behalf, told the High Court judge that many kids now grow up in "rainbow families".
She explained that his child had the right to see its parent's gender "appropriately identified".
However the opposition believed the case should be dismissed because the law distinguished between a "person who gives birth" and a "person who does not".