Trans man who gave birth to a son loses court battle to be listed as ‘father’ on the birth certificate
A trans man, who gave birth, was forbidden to be listed as his child’s father instead of his mother on the birth certificate.
- Freddy McConnel, 34, the transgender man who gave birth to a boy in 2018, had been refused to be registered as his child’s father.
- The High Court stated McConnel should be listed as the baby’s mother because he was the one who carried the child and gave birth.
- The LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall described the situation as a “missed opportunity to progress equality.”
Freddy McConnell, a 34-year-old transgender man from Kent, UK, who became pregnant with his baby boy in 2018, lost the court battle to be listed as his son’s father, VT reveals.
Even though McConnell was legally registered as a man two years ago, in 2019, a High Court judge ruled against his plead. According to the judge, he should be listed as his son’s mother because anyone who becomes pregnant and gives birth is a mother under English common law, regardless of their gender.
McConnell’s unusual story was detailed in the BBC documentary called ‘Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth.’
The High Court ruled that there was “a material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent.”
As Metro reports, the 34-year-old prompted a legal action against the General Register Office. However, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir Andrew McFarlane, stated:
“Being a ‘mother’, whilst hitherto always associated with being female, is the status afforded to a person who undergoes the physical and biological process of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth.
It is now medically and legally possible for an individual, whose gender is recognised in law as male, to become pregnant and give birth to their child.
Whilst that person’s gender is ‘male’, their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of ‘mother’.”
Following the loss of the case, McConnell had been refused permission to mount a Supreme Court trial.
A court spokesperson told The Guardian that the transgender man was denied the opportunity to take his case to the Supreme Court because it does not raise “an arguable point of law.”
Furthermore, in the wake of this decision, the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall described the situation as a “missed opportunity to progress equality.” In an interview with KentOnline, Nancy Kelley, chief executive of the charity, said:
“All parents, including LGBT parents, deserve to be recognised for who they are and it’s incredibly frustrating that the Supreme Court has missed an opportunity to progress equality…
Just like any other parents, trans parents should be able to have their relationship to their child recognised on their child’s birth certificates.
Equality is not a luxury and this legislation desperate needs to be updated so trans parents can be recognised for who they are.”
Freddy McConnell was dubbed “The Seahorse Dad” after he gave birth to his son Jack in 2018.
The proud father-of-one conceived with the help of a sperm donor and chose to give birth naturally. Although he was taking testosterone during his gender transition, he came off of the substance throughout his pregnancy. In one of the most memorable moments in the documentary movie about his journey, McConnell says:
“If all men got pregnant, then pregnancy would be taken more seriously and talked about.”
After the legal battle, which resulted in the man’s denial to be registered as his child’s father, he shared his disappointment on his Facebook page:
“We didn’t lose. We were denied a fair shot at ever winning. 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.”