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Baby of transgender parent may be the first to not have a legal mother

12th June 2018

Rachel Lemon, Partner in the Family Department and head of our Modern Families sector, comments:

A baby born to a man who was born a woman may be the first person without a legal mother if he wins his case.

The court heard that whilst he has been able to conceive and deliver his baby, he legally became a man after the baby was born.

The man was informed, on attempting to register the baby's birth, that a parent who gives birth to the baby must be recorded as the baby's mother and not as its father or parent, as the man wishes.

The man claims that his human right to respect for family and private life is breached by not allowing him to be recorded as father or parent.

This historic and monumental case is a reminder of the issues the family courts face in modern times. Modern families can be complex and sensitive and the rulings made can be historic, ground breaking and demonstrate how far the family unit has evolved.

These cases push lawyers, the judiciary and government to recognise and embrace changes in our diverse world and our evolving society. It is fundamental that the law keeps up with the pace of change.

It must be right that a parent can be recorded on their child's birth certificate as they wish. The parent may well have been on a emotional, psychological and physical journey to transition to their chosen gender. To be forced to take a leap backwards, on the birth of their child, is damaging not only to the parent but potentially also to the child. On viewing their own birth certificate, those children receive a strong message on how the world views their modern family. If we expect children born into modern families to grow up with confidence in their family structure, the message we send to them, privately, publicly and in documents must support that.

Rachel is proud to have her own modern family and can be contacted on 01932 590 500.

The contents of this update are intended as guidance for readers. It can be no substitute for specific advice. Consequently we cannot accept responsibility for this information, errors or matters affected by subsequent changes in the law, or the content of any website referred to in this update. © Mundays LLP 2018.

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