Trans man appeals ‘mother’ status on child’s birth certificate

The case will be heard in the Court of Appeal today

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A transgender man who gave birth but does not wish to be described as “mother” on the birth certificate is preparing for the next round of a legal battle.

Freddy McConnell wants to be registered as father or parent but lost a High Court bid to change his title in September.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, ruled against him, saying that people who had given birth were legally mothers, regardless of their gender.

But today Mr McConnell is set to appeal the decision – Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Singh, will consider the case.

Last year’s trial in London heard that the Guardian journalist was a single parent who was born a woman but now lives as a man following surgery.

He had been biologically able to get pregnant, and give birth but legally became a man when the child was born.

When he asked to be registered as father or parent, a registrar told him the law required people who give birth to be registered as mothers.

Sir Andrew ruled that there was a “material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent”.

He said: “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.

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

Equality campaigners said legislation “desperately” needed updating.

Laura Russell from campaign organisation Stonewall said at the time: “We believe this ruling is a missed opportunity to send a positive message and recognise all parents, including LGBT parents, for who they are.”

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