A trans man just lost the right to be named as the father on his child's birth certificate

Photo credit: Theo Wargo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Theo Wargo - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

A trans man just lost a legal battle to be named as the father on his child's birth certificate.

Freddy McConnell, a 32-year-old journalist, gave birth to his child in 2018 and has been in a legal battle to be recognised as their father ever since. Despite being legally recognised as male, the High Court ruled he must be named as mother on the birth certificate.

His legal team has described the decision as "a blow to the transgender fight for equality," according to i. Freddy's barrister told the judge it was in his child's interest to be registered as the father or parent, arguing that a child has the right to have their parents' gender "appropriately" recorded on their birth certificate.

BBC News' LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte tweeted the news this afternoon (Wednesday September 25). "BREAKING: Freddy McConnell, a transgender man who gave birth to his child, has lost his legal battle to register as the child's father - rather than mother... Freddy has told me he will appeal."

LGBTQ+ activists and allies were quick to support Freddy and speak out against the decision. Filmmaker and writer Amrou Al-Kahidi tweeted their response to the ruling, calling it "disgraceful".

"This news is utterly disgraceful. So much love and solidarity to @freddymcconnell. Be in no doubt, British institutions are systemically transphobic, and we all need to gather together to fight what's happening here. Good luck with the appeal Freddy - we stand with you!"

"Recognising @freddymcconnell as the father of his child - which he is - has no negative impact whatsoever. The system needs to accommodate the diversity of people in terms of reproduction & stop clinging onto normative ideas about gender and bodies," tweeted Owl, a writer, filmmaker and All About Trans advisor.

"Trans people, regardless of our bodies and our genders, have the right to accurate documents and a private/family life, and our children have the right to accurate documents and a secure childhood. Solidarity with Freddy McConnell; this isn't right," wrote Ellen Murray, executive director at Transgender NI.

LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall released a statement after the ruling. "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," said Laura Russell, Stonewall’s Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research.

"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."

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