The United Kingdom’s High Court recently denied transgender female Freddy McConnell’s petition to be listed as “father” on the birth certificate for a child she birthed after artificial insemination. Before pregnancy, McConnell had been injecting testosterone, undergone a double mastectomy, and presented in appearance as male.
McConnell had also legally changed her listed gender from female to male. But although McConnell wanted to be called a father, she also wanted to carry the child using her female reproductive system. After a 16-month lawsuit, the government denied her request to be listed as father, and defined the term mother not only as a person, but as a verb.
The United Kingdom’s Gender Recognition Act of 2004 gave trans people the right to legally change their listed sex on identification documents. The next U.K. census will include the question “Is your gender the same as the sex you were registered at birth,” allowing trans persons to self-identify their gender.
The U.K. has some of the farthest-reaching regulations to accommodate trans people who want to be recognized according to their gender identity as opposed to their sex. Yet when faced with the question of whether a legally identified man who gave birth could be labeled “father,” the High Court ruled this a step too far.