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Baby born to transgender man could become first with no legal mother

Josh Jackman October 1, 2018

Trans children who are supported are equally likely to have depression as cis kids (Pexels)

A baby born to a transgender father could become the first child in Britain to have no legal mother.

In a landmark case for transgender rights, England and Wales’ most senior Family Court judge is set to decide whether the single parent will be legally defined as the child’s father.

The unidentified trans man began his legal battle earlier this year, after he had given birth to the child and asked to be listed as either a father or parent on the baby’s birth certificate.

The Royal Courts of Justice building, which houses the High Court of England and Wales, is pictured in London on February 3, 2017. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty)
The Royal Courts of Justice building, which houses the High Court of England and Wales (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty)

The father, who was legally a man when he gave birth, was informed by the registrar responsible for registering the birth that the law requires people who give birth to be registered as mothers.

In response, he launched a human rights case in order to be listed as the child’s father, stating that being registered as his child’s mother infringes on his right to respect for his private and family life.

The President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir Andrew McFarlane, is now due to rule on whether a child’s birth certificate can be valid with just a single ‘parent’ or ‘father’ listed, according to Metro.

The trans man and his child have not been identified (Pexels)

The trans man’s lawyers are up against legal representation working on behalf of government ministers and the Registrar General for England and Wales.

The case, which has been heard in the High Court over recent months, is unprecedented according to Mr Justice Francis.

He said in June that the case could prompt a change in the law if the man was successful.

At the time, the head of the trans man’s legal team, barrister Hannah Markham QC, said the law was “no longer compatible” with modern society and wider gender expression.

“It is an accepted fact that a female who transitions to male may in law maintain the ability to conceive and give birth to a child” (Pexels)

In a statement to the court, Markham wrote: “It is an accepted fact that a female who transitions to male may in law maintain the ability to conceive and give birth to a child.

“It is further averred that the current law relating to the registration of births and deaths is no longer compatible with the changes in society, the evolvement of freedom of expression and gender equality and the protection of an individual’s rights to identify as a particular gender.”

Last month, it was revealed that a father was being denied child benefit payments because he refused to be identified as his child’s mother.

In 2017, a trans man spoke out about his experiences as the first person to give birth both before and after transitioning.

Last year, two trans men reportedly became the first to give birth in the UK (Pexels)

Kaci Sullivan gave birth to his second child in December after his first child was born prior to his transition.

Opening up about his pregnancies, he said: “Because I don’t see pregnancy as inherently feminine, and because I don’t subscribe to make-believe gender roles, I wasn’t threatened by the idea of pregnancy.”

And last year, two trans men reportedly became the first to give birth in the UK.

Scott Parker, 23, gave birth to daughter Sara in April, before 21-year-old Hayden Cross welcomed Trinity-Leigh into the world in July.

More: baby, court, families, High Court, parents, Transgender, UK

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