UK Denies Trans Man Right To Be Registered as Father On Birth Certificate

Freddy McConnell
Freddy McConnell
Image: Getty

Since 2018 Freddy McConnell, an English trans man, has been fighting to be identified as his baby’s father on parental records. After appealing a court ruling that he could not appear on the birth certificate as ‘father,’ the Guardian reports that the court has once again ruled that McConnell can not be listed as his child’s father.

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After giving birth, McConnell was denied the ability to register as his baby’s father by the registrar even though legal documents, including his passport, NHS records, and gender reassignment certificate made it clear he was male. His lawyers argue the situation breaches the Human Rights Act of 1998, which outlines the fundamental rights of every UK citizen, including the right to a private family life. Still, a court ruled in September 2019 that McConnell must be listed as the child’s mother, defining motherhood as “being pregnant and giving birth regardless of whether the person who does so was considered a man or a woman in law.”

McConnell appealed that ruling but a court of appeal ruled in favor of giving a child born to a trans parent the right to know “the biological reality of its birth,” the Guardian reported, rather than recognizing a parent’s legal gender. McConnell said that it was “distressing to be a trans person and have your most fundamental rights overlooked.” The BBC reports McConnell wants to appeal to the Supreme Court, though the lord chief justice Lord Burnett presiding refused to give him permission to take his case there.

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The news of the ruling is just one recent example of rising transphobia in the U.K. UK’s equalities minister Liz Truss suggested that an upcoming review of the country’s Gender Recognition Act might result in more restrictions, saying that the government must protect young people from “making those irreversible decisions.”

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Maybe ultimately the solution is to drop gendered terminology like ‘mother’ altogether. If it’s important that a birth certificate illustrate who exactly grew the baby inside their body, let’s just call them “gestational parent.” There, solved it.