Judge says woman who gave birth cannot be listed as ‘father’

A woman who lives as a man has lost her legal case to be recorded as the father on her child’s birth certificate.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the High Court’s Family Division, said someone who gives birth to a child is a mother.

The woman – known as Freddy McConnell – gave birth in 2018.


After transitioning to live as if male, McConnell retained her female reproductive organs and conceived via donated sperm and IVF.

McConnell was not permitted to list her relationship to the child as “father” on the birth certificate and so challenged the Government.

The infant would have been the first in Britain not to have a registered mother if McConnell’s legal challenge had been successful.


But the judge said while the law recognises McConnell as male, the fact she had given birth meant she was the child’s mother.

Judge McFarlane said: “It is now medically and legally possible for an individual, whose gender is recognised in law as male, to become pregnant and give birth to their child.

But he added that: “Whilst that person’s gender is ‘male’”, their parental status, “is that of ‘mother’”.

However, he also said there was a “pressing need” for the Government and parliament to address the issue.

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