A woman who used the law to ‘change sex’ to male is fighting to keep the word ‘mother’ off her child’s birth certificate.
The anonymous woman became pregnant just ten days after being granted a Gender Recognition Certificate.
But following the birth of her child, the Registrar General said she must be listed on the child’s birth certificate as ‘mother’, as it is a legal requirement.
No legal mother
The woman has launched a legal battle against the Registrar General at the High Court, so that she can be ‘recognised’ as the child’s father or ‘parent’.
If she is successful, her child will be the first in the UK to be born without a legal mother.
She became pregnant following fertility treatment using an anonymous sperm donor, so the child has only one legal parent.
Ben Jaffey QC, representing the Department of Health, told the court “the status of a mother is no longer gender-specific”.
He claimed: “Being a mother is no longer necessarily a gendered term”.
But her lawyers claim it is discrimination not to allow her to be listed as the child’s father, and said the Government had created an “unclear and illogical” system for transgender parents.
Forcing their client to be registered as the child’s mother, they said, would be “insensitive, dehumanising and stressful”.
Top family law judge Sir Andrew McFarlane, who heard the case, was told civil servants had drawn up a plan to allow the woman to be listed as a ‘male mother’.
This was deemed impractical, and so while Sir Andrew has yet to rule on the case, he says the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Act may need changes.
He said: “I am inviting the government to consider whether the operation of the HFEA Act needs to be looked at.”