A transgender man has lost the legal battle to be recognised as his child’s father, despite being legally recognised as a man when he fell pregnant and gave birth.
Freddy McConnell, 22, lives in the UK and has lived as a man for several years.
However, when he fell pregnant and gave birth in 2018, he encountered an issue with his parental role.
McConnell had undergone chest surgery in 2013 and started testosterone treatment but retained his reproductive system, which included his uterus.
He then went off hormones in 2016 in order to fall pregnant.
McConnell was already legally recognised as male and wanted to be registered as his child’s father, but the fact he had been able to biologically conceive and give birth to the child raised questions.
Andrew McFarlane, president of the High Court Family Division, ruled that McConnell is still the child's mother and should be recognised as such, regardless of his status as a man.
“There is a material difference between a person's gender and their status as a parent,” the judge said in his ruling, according to Nine Honey.
“Being a 'mother', whilst hitherto always associated with being female, is the status afforded to a person who undergoes the physical and biological process of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth.”
“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,” the judge continued.
“Whilst that person's gender is 'male', their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of 'mother'.”
McConnell is now considering appealing the court's decision, as he fears the ruling will set a precedent against transgender parents and will uphold outdated family and gender roles.
“It has serious implications for non-traditional family structures,” he told The Guardian, where he works as a journalist.
“It upholds the view that only the most traditional forms of family are properly recognised or treated equally. It's just not fair.”