news

Transgender man fighting to be named father on child's birth certificate launches appeal

Freddy McConnell lost his battle with UK Government last year

2020-03-04

Words: Steve Brown

A transgender man who lost his battle with the UK Government to be named father on his child's birth certificate has launched his appeal.

Last year, Freddy McConnell, who works as a journalist for The Guardian, took the UK Government to court in a bid to be registered as the father on his child’s birth certificate.

The Government argued that he must be registered as the mother despite undergoing gender confirmation surgery because he gave birth to the child, who they said has the ‘right to know the identity of the person who carried him or her’.

In September, the High Court’s President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, sided with the government and said Freddy must appear as the mother on the birth certificate.

Freddy took legal action against the General Register Office after complaining of discrimination and said identifying him as the mother breached his human right to respect for privacy and family life.

And now, Freddy has begun the second stage of a legal battle and argues he should have won first time around.

Three appeal judges are now considering the case. The hearing is due to finish tomorrow (March 5).

A barrister leading Freddy's legal team told the three judges there were 'clear reasons' why her client should have won the High Court fight, the MailOnline reported.

"Notwithstanding the complexity of the arguments and the issues engaged, there were clear reasons why the claim ought to have succeeded and why (Freddy) ought to have been declared the father or parent of (the child), not the mother," Hannah Markham QC said in a statement.

"It is submitted that the learned judge fell into error in determining the term 'mother' not to be a gendered term.

"The learned judge was wrong to focus on giving birth as the determining issue when deciding parental role described in an administrative document.

"In identifying that the issue in this case raised important matters of public interest and that there was a pressing need for the government to challenge square on the status of a trans-male person who has become pregnant and given birth to a child, the learned judge ought to have declared where the current law fails to recognise those rights."