Transsexual loses bid to change kids’ birth certificates

A transsexual who was born a man has lost his legal fight to alter his children’s birth certificates.

JK – as he was known in court – now lives as a woman and wanted his children’s birth certificates to read “parent” or “father/parent”.

However the High Court rejected the bid, with Mr Justice Hickinbottom saying JK’s rights under human rights law were not being infringed.


JK has two children, referred to in court as AK and PK, and it was around AK’s birth that he “felt the desire to live as a woman”, the judge said.

A doctor referred JK to a gender clinic, and he later changed his name.

He was placed on the waiting list for surgery but before starting a course of hormones his wife became pregnant with their second child.

Turned down

JK wanted the birth registrar to re-register AK’s birth without him listed as the father.

He also asked to be called the “parent” of the second child.

However he was turned down, and told he would be listed as “father” in both cases.


Mr Justice Hickinbottom said: “The ability to change a child’s birth certificate would be contrary to the coherence of the birth registration scheme, and in particular the principle that a birth certificate shows the relevant details of a child at his or her birth, and those details cannot be changed.”

The judge added: “There is no country in Europe or elsewhere that enables a person to make such a change as the claimant seeks.”

He commented that “gender is an important element in an individual’s fundamental identity”, but said changing JK’s information could negatively affect the children.

Too quick

JK’s lawyer had previously said that the birth certificates’ listing of JK as the father would reveal he is a transsexual.

He had argued that the current situation was unlawful under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Earlier this year a man who underwent a sex change then had it reversed warned that surgeons are too quick to operate in cases like his.

Walt Heyer now advises people who want to have a sex change that their problem is psychological, not medical, and that it is biologically impossible to transform someone from one sex to another.

Related Resources