Case Could Be Appealed To Supreme Court
The Court of Appeal has ruled today (29 April) that a transgender man cannot be legally recognised as the father of the child he gave birth to.
Freddy McConnell, who is legally recognised as a man through a Gender Recognition Certificate, gave birth to his child in 2018. Current law requires that the birth parent is always to be regarded as the mother of the child even if that parent is, as in this case, legally recognised as a man.
The High Court rejected his argument to be registered as the father or parent of the child in September last year, ruling that being a mother was about the physical act of pregnancy and giving birth – even if the person was a male in law. The case marked the first legal definition of a mother in common law.
It is yet to be confirmed whether Freddy McConnell will appeal to the Supreme Court.
Family law experts at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell say the judgment isn’t a surprise, but is still a disappointing outcome – and that the judgment is likely to be appealed.
Expert Opinion“The latest judgment is another disappointing result for the transgender community.
“From a legal perspective, many believe the current law is a breach of human rights and from a human perspective, it’s problematic to have cherry-picking policies when it comes to transgender issues.
“It’s not now clear whether or not it will be possible for the case to be heard by the Supreme Court, but given the huge public interest and the impact the outcome of the case will have for many transgender families and transgender people it is hoped that this case will generate some positive progress. The law is in need of reform.
“At the centre of this case is a very real person who is a father to their child in every way possible, and yet the current law doesn’t allow for such recognition. We hope this issue is urgently rectified in the law.” Scott Halliday - Associate Solicitor