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Trans man loses battle to be registered as the father on his child's birth certificate

Freddy McConnell took the UK Government to court earlier this year

2019-09-25

Words: Steve Brown

A trans man has lost his battle to be registered as the father on his child’s birth certificate.

Freddy McConnell, who works as a journalist for The Guardian, took the UK Government to court earlier this year in a bid to be registered as the father on his child’s birth certificate.

The Government argued that he must be registered as the mother despite undergoing gender confirmation surgery because he gave birth to the child, who they said has the ‘right to know the identity of the person who carried him or her’.

On Wednesday (September 25), the High Court’s President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, sided with the government and said Freddy must appear as the mother on the birth certificate, The Telegraph reported.

Freddy took legal action against the General Register Office after complaining of discrimination and said identifying him as the mother breached his human right to respect for privacy and family life.

Laura Russell, Stonewall’s Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research, said: ”It’s deeply disappointing to hear the Court has ruled against Freddy McConnell.

“We believe this ruling is a missed opportunity to send a positive message and recognise all parents, including LGBT parents, for who they are.

“This legislation desperately needs to be updated to ensure trans people are recognised for who they are in all areas of their lives.

“It’s another example of how current legislation contradicts the fragile equality trans people currently have, by creating a situation where trans people can have full recognition on some legal documents, but not on others.

“Updating this legislation will also benefit others in the LGBT community, specifically same-sex parents, who face similarly inaccurate and unequal representation on their children’s birth certificates.

“We stand with Freddy and our work continues until outdated legislation recognises the correct legal status of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans parents when their child is born.”