Trans man loses court battle to be listed as 'father' on son's birth certificate

Trans man loses court battle to be listed as 'father' on son's birth certificate

A transgender man has lost his legal battle to be listed as his son's 'father' instead of his mother on his birth certificate.

Freddy McConnell became pregnant and gave birth to his son Jack in 2018 when he was legally registered as a man.

Prior to the birth, he had been taking testosterone since 2014 and had undergone top surgery.

After Jack was born, Freddy went on a mission to be named as his father on Jack's birth certificate, something he detailed in the BBC documentary called Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth.

Watch the trailer for Seahorse below: 

The case was taken to the family division of the High Court last year where it was argued that Freddy being named as the child's mother is an infringement on his human right for respect for his private and family life.

Under English common law, the judge ruled, a mother is anyone who becomes pregnant and gives birth, regardless of their gender.

Per the Metro, Sir Andrew McFarlane ruled that there was "a material difference between a person's gender and their status as a parent."

Three Court of Appeal judges dismissed Freddy's case earlier in 2020 because it involved "interlinked" legislation and any reformation of it would have to take place in parliament.

Following the loss of the case, Freddy has been denied the opportunity to take it to the Supreme Court justices.

Freddy had been refused permission to mount a Supreme Court challenge, a spokesperson for the court revealed, per the Guardian, because his case does not raise "an arguable point of law," which "ought to be considered."

The Supreme Court Justices' decision has been described as a "missed opportunity to progress equality" by the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall.

Stonewall chief executive Nancy Kelley told Kent Online: "All parents, including LGBT parents, deserve to be recognized for who they are and it's incredibly frustrating that the Supreme Court has missed an opportunity to progress equality.

"The current legislation contradicts the fragile equality trans people currently have, where they can have full recognition on some legal documents, but not on others."

Kelley continued: "Just like any other parents, trans parents should be able to have their relationship to their child recognized on their child’s birth certificates.

"Equality is not a luxury and this legislation desperately needs to be updated so trans parents can be recognized for who they are."

The 33-year-old conceived with the help of a sperm donor on a second attempt and decided to give birth naturally, something he spoke candidly about in the film.

When Freddy came off testosterone to conceive, his facial hair thinned and his hips broadened and he also found himself talking from his chest instead of his throat.

Freddy said in the film that "if all men got pregnant, then pregnancy would be taken more seriously and talked about."

Taking to Facebook following the legal battle, Freddie wrote: "We didn’t lose. We were denied a fair shot at ever winning. No one in court, except our brilliant lawyers of course, ever fully engaged with the arguments for reform on a legal or human level. You could often see confusion or disinterest on their faces.

"There are many people reaching out to help keep this fight going. It will. I owe that to my kiddo and others like him, even if our legal system and government choose to ignore them.

"You cannot grant rights to trans people and then deny them of our children. You cannot revoke legal recognition at the point of parenthood unless your policy is, in fact, de facto sterilisation.

"I mean, you can try, but the denial of equality is ultimately doomed in a progressive or liberal democracy."