Transgender mum loses appeal to be named ‘dad’

30 April 2020

A biological female who gave birth has lost an appeal against a High Court ruling that said she must be registered as her child’s mother.

Freddy McConnell, who identifies as transgender, wanted to be registered as ‘father’ or ‘parent’ of the child. However, in September 2019, Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the High Court’s family division, ruled that motherhood “was about being pregnant and giving birth regardless of whether the person who does so was considered a man or a woman.” He also stated that there is “a material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent.”

This week, three appeal judges upheld that decision, refusing to allow McConnell to register as the child’s father.

Lord Burnett of Maldon, the Lord Chief Justice and the most senior judge in England and Wales, ruled that, “the legislative scheme of the Gender Recognition Act required Mr McConnell to be registered as the mother of [the child], rather than the father, parent or gestational parent.”

Ruling on the case with Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Singh, they added that any change to the law was an issue for Parliament rather than the courts.

McConnell, a multimedia journalist at The Guardian, became pregnant in 2017. Just days after legally ‘becoming a man’, McConnell accessed sperm from a donor to become what the media dubbed as a ‘pregnant man‘.

Tim Dieppe, Head of Public Policy for Christian Concern, commented: “We welcome this decision from the Court of Appeal. It is good that it has upheld the obvious reality of biological motherhood. However, the idea that a ‘man’ can become pregnant, give birth and be a mother is absurd. It is time to abolish fictional ‘gender identity’ based legal categories.”

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