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Japan: Supreme Court awards legal parental status to trans man

Rochelle Sampy December 12, 2013
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The Japanese Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a trans man to be legally recognised as the father of his wife’s child, after unsuccessful earlier decisions.

As a result of the judgment from the Supreme Court, any child of a married couple with a trans father will not be registered as illegitimate.

Earlier decisions which, discarded the man’s application to be recognised as one of the child’s parents, stating that the use of sperm from a third person in his wife’s IVF treatment did not have legal relevance, was overturned.

A 2004 law was taken into account by the justices which permitted individuals who were diagnosed with gender identity disphoria to get their gender altered in legal documents.

Individuals needed to meet certain requirements such as having a gender confirmation operation to qualify for the legal recognition.

The ruling said: “A person recognised as a man, and allowed to change gender to that of a man under this law should be considered to be a man under other laws.

“He not only can marry and become a husband under the civil law but should also be recognised as the father of a child conceived by his wife during their marriage.”

Two of the five justices disagreed with the decision while the other three supported it.

In an interview with Agence-France Press, the man, whose identity is kept hidden said: “I am very happy. I can finally become the father of my son in legal documents. We won at the final stage, thanks to the help and support of many others.”


Related topics: Asia, Japan, Japan, LGBT, LGBT rights, supreme court, Trans

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