Thursday, July 18, 2019

Woman who transformed to a man gives birth and has now dragged the government to court for refusing to name 'her' as the baby's father

Freddy McConnell’s firstborn looks the spit of him. Visitors to the family home get confused about a photo on the wall which shows a child with fair hair, blue eyes and heavy eyelids. Father, or child? It’s actually Freddy when he was that age. No question about parentage here.

Because this is by no means a straightforward parent and child situation, although the confusion is more to do with gender than genetics.

For Freddy was not only in the room when his baby was born, he also gave birth to his child.


By law, although Freddy was born female, he is (and was on the day his child was born) a man. Ten days after he legally became a man, he accessed sperm from a donor and because he had decided to keep his womb was in the extraordinary (although not unique, as we will discover) position of being a pregnant man.

But did this make him ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mummy’ when his much-wanted baby was placed in his arms? Well, this conundrum has now become a matter for the High Court.

When Freddy, a proud campaigner on transgender issues, went to register his child’s birth, he requested that he be named as the ‘father’ on the legal document, rather than the ‘mother’. The General Register Office, going by the rules established in 1836, refused, pointing out that, legally, a child has to have a mother, at least on the document that confirms their existence.

Freddy’s objections have led to a High Court battle against the Government, with his lawyer arguing that it is a breach of Freddy’s human rights to force him to be recognised as the baby’s mother.

Some will find it baffling that a trans man can reject his previous womanhood to such a degree, while still taking advantage of its most defining aspect: a womb.

To be legally recognised as having changed gender, however, it is not a requirement for sex reassignment surgery to have taken place, although the person must have been living in their ‘new’ gender for two years, and be able to convince the Gender Recognition Panel of their case.

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