A woman who lives as if she were a man cannot challenge previous rulings which prevent her from appearing on her child’s birth certificate as “father”, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The woman, now known as Freddy McConnell, has been told by the UK’s highest court that there are no grounds to warrant granting a judicial review.
After transitioning, McConnell retained her female reproductive organs and conceived via donated sperm and IVF. She gave birth to a son in 2018.
Justices refused McConnell permission to appeal, saying the application did not “raise an arguable point of law”.
In September 2019, the President of the High Court’s Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, ruled that anyone who gives birth to a child is a 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 although that person may be legally ‘male’, their parental status remains “that of ‘mother’”.
McConnell’s challenge to the High Court ruling was heard by the Appeal Court earlier this year, when the presiding judges upheld Sir Andrew McFarlane’s original findings.
The judges stated that the original ruling did not violate McConnell’s human rights, adding that any change to the law would be a matter for Parliament to decide.
During the case, Lord Burnett said gender recognition law has not “decoupled the concept of mother from gender” and that “no-one else has that automatic parental responsibility, including the father”.
According to The Guardian newspaper, McConnell now intends to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.