UK's top court rejects trans man's bid to be named child's father

Monday, 16 November 2020 17:36 GMT

Protesters attend the London Trans Pride 2020 march, in London, Britain September 12, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

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Trans man Freddy McConnell's bid to be named the father rather than the mother on his child's birth certificate was rejected by Britain's Supreme Court

By Rachel Savage

LONDON, Nov 16 (Openly) - A British transgender man's bid to be named the father rather than the mother on his child's birth certificate has been rejected by the country's highest court, in a case that has highlighted evolving conceptions of gender.

Freddy McConnell transitioned aged 22 and official documents, such as his passport and health records, have been changed to show his sex as male.

Britain's Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal against a ruling by a lower court that said existing law balanced trans rights with the view "that every child should have a mother and should be able to discover who their mother was".

The challenge did not "raise an arguable point of law", it said on its website on Monday.

McConnell and his lawyers did not reply to requests for comment.

McConnell, a journalist, stopped taking testosterone in 2016 and became pregnant through fertility treatment using donor sperm.

His journey to parenthood was shown in a documentary, "Seahorse", and he is currently sharing his efforts to become pregnant again via IVF on Instagram.

"This could've been a really pivotal moment for trans parents such as Freddy," said Cara English of trans advocacy group Gendered Intelligence.

"We hope that in the near future the loophole that forces men such as Freddy to be incorrectly referred to as "mothers" can be legally righted."

In April McConnell told the Thomson Reuters Foundation he had accepted his legal fight would be "a long road" and that appealing to the European Court of Human Rights was a possibility.

"I don't really think it's about the fact that I gave birth," he said. "Ultimately, it's about the fact that trans people have never been taken into account."

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(Reporting by Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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