A transgender man in the U.K. is challenging a law requiring him to be considered the mother of his baby.
According to lawyers representing the man, who remains anonymous, their client is legally considered to be male, but is still able to have a child. British law requires any person giving birth to a child to be identified as its mother, despite the man requesting to be called either the “father” or “parent” on the child’s birth certificate.
The man, who had the baby through insemination, is claiming the birth registrar discriminated against him in requiring him to identify as the child’s mother, deeming it unnecessary and lacking respect for his family.
Lawyers for both the man and the Registrar General for England and Wales recently began preliminary arguments at a hearing in London’s high court, according to The Telegraph.
The judge presiding said that the precedent that the case sets could lead to a change in the law, as no such case has previously been argued in England and Wales.
If the case rules in favor of the parent, the child would be the first without a legal mother. Barrister Hannah Markham QC, who is leading the man’s legal team, said that the current law requiring him to be a mother is against his rights and an outdated requirement.
“It is an accepted fact that a female who transitions to male may in law maintain the ability to conceive and give birth to a child,” she said in her written outline. “(He) seeks a declaration that being forced to register as a mother to his son is contrary to his right to private and family life within Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and that such interference, in the light of the changes which have evolved in society are no longer proportionate.”
She added: “It is further averred that the current law relating to the registration of births and deaths is no longer compatible with the changes in society, the evolvement of freedom of expression and gender equality and the protection of an individual’s rights to identify as a particular gender.”
This case is not the only decision in the U.K. tackling issues surrounding gender identity. A ruling is being awaited in a case that concluded in April arguing to offer a third non-gendered “X” option on U.K. passports.