A UK court has refused a transgender man's request to be labeled as "father" or "parent" on his son's birth certificate. Freddy McConnell from Kent, England, is listed as male on a gender recognition certificate issued in 2017, the year before he gave birth. While seeking to register the birth, the subject of the documentary Seahorse was told he could only be recorded as "mother," which McConnell, 34, viewed as a violation of his and his son's rights. A High Court judge disagreed in September, noting the status of mother, "whilst hitherto always associated with being female, is … afforded to a person who undergoes the physical and biological process of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth," per the New York Times. Three Court of Appeal judges backed that decision Wednesday.
Chief Justice Lord Burnett said McConnell was required to be listed as mother under the Gender Recognition Act, which states "the fact that a person's gender has become the acquired gender under this Act does not affect the status of the person as the father or mother of a child." The Guardian reports the appeal court determined that listing McConnell and men like him as mother protects a child's right to know who birthed them. "The law is clear that a child only ever has one mother, although there may be more than one 'parent.'" McConnell plans to appeal the "disappointing" decision to the Supreme Court. His lawyer argues "such a narrow interpretation of the [2004 act] will force all transgender people to choose between being a parent and having full recognition of their gender." (Read more LGBT stories.)