Transgender man who gave birth loses bid to be named child's father

LONDON (DPA) – A British transgender man on Wednesday (Sept 25) lost his bid to be legally recognised as the father of the child he gave birth to last year.

The High Court rejected a claim by Freddy McConnell, a 32-year-old journalist and single parent, that he should be registered as the father on his child’s birth certificate in what would have been a legal first for Britain.

Judge Andrew McFarlane said the parental status of women who transition to men still “derives from their biological role in giving birth.”

Lawyers for McConnell said the ruling was “a blow to the transgender fight for equality.”

“Freddy is legally a man and his legal papers display the same,” said Karen Holden, the founder of A City Law Firm, in a statement.

“In the UK, he has the right to change his gender on his own birth certificate, so why not his child’s?” Holden said.

She said the lawyers wanted to stop McConnell being “forced to register as a mother to his child, which we believe is contrary to his right to private and family life… (and) discriminatory against trans and intersex parents.”

McFarlane said there was “a material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent.”

A “mother” is someone who “undergoes the physical and biological process of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth,” he said.

Holden said McConnell is considering whether to appeal the ruling, adding that British law remains behind “other, more progressive countries.”

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