We have seen cases in the past where transgender men gave birth to babies and the latest case involves Freddy McConnell, who was born female, became pregnant using a sperm donor in 2017, and gave birth in 2018. The birth of the baby happened after he had already transitioned to legally be recognized as a man, CNN reported. This happened in the United Kingdom where the high court ruled on Wednesday that a transgender man who gave birth must register as the baby’s mother, even though he has “full legal recognition as male.”
Registrar General argued that McConnell must register as the child’s mother, being in accordance with British law. This has caused McConnell to take legal action. In this situation, he has the role in the birth as the parental mother even though he is legally recognized as a man. He then ruled that there is a “material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent.”
Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the High Court’s family division, upheld the Registrar General’s decision.
McConnell, who is a journalist with The Guardian, started taking testosterone in 2013 and stopped in 2016 before becoming pregnant, according to the publication. A feature-length documentary has even been created to captured his journey to parenthood.
“This is a film about me having a baby,” he says in the film. “But what I feel like I’m going through isn’t me having a baby, or pregnancy. It’s like a much more fundamental total loss of myself.”
McConnell then tweeted on Wednesday saying that, "I’m saddened by the court’s decision not to allow trans men to be recorded as father or parent on their children's birth certificates. I fear this decision has distressing implications for many kinds of families. I will seek to appeal and give no more interviews at this stage."
I’m saddened by the court’s decision not to allow trans men to be recorded as father or parent on their children's birth certificates.— Freddy McConnell (@freddymcconnell) September 25, 2019
I fear this decision has distressing implications for many kinds of families. I will seek to appeal and give no more interviews at this stage.
McConnell and his legal team hold that McFarlane’s recent ruling has “significant and far-reaching implications” for transgender people, BuzzFeed News reported.
Not only is McConnell suffering huge disappointment whenever it comes to this case, but back in July, the same judge refused to grant him anonymity, which gave the media in the United Kingdom access to his identity.
“It is bigger than us,” McConnell told the outlet. “I will carry on fighting because this is threatening to set things back for LGBT people — as well as for society, gender, and how families are created. This slams the brakes on progress in a way that should scare people.”