Suzi Denton
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Date Published:03 Oct 2019 Last Updated:13 Apr 2021

Transgender man loses legal battle to be named as his child’s father

LGBT+ Legal Advice

Single parent and trans man Freddy McConnell gave birth to his son in 2018. When he came to register the birth, he discovered that he would have to be named as the child’s mother on the birth certificate, despite the fact that he is legally a man (and was so at the time of the birth).

He subsequently launched a legal challenge to enable him to be named as the child’s ‘father’ or ‘parent’ on the birth certificate. The court has recently ruled against him.

Sir Andrew McFarlane (the President of the Family court, who heard the case) said that ‘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.’

McConnell has said he is ‘saddened’ by the decision, and that ‘It has serious implications for non-traditional family structures. It upholds the view that only the most traditional forms of family are properly recognised or treated equally. It’s just not fair.’

According to the BBC, he intends to appeal the decision.

LGBT+ charity Stonewall said that they find the ruling ‘another example of how current legislation contradicts the fragile equality trans people currently have.’

Sir McFarlane has said that this issue needs to be addressed by government and parliament ‘to address square-on the question of the status of a trans male who has become pregnant and given birth to a child.’

McConnell’s story has recently been told in the documentary, Seahorse, which is currently available on BBC iPlayer.

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