This week, we await the decision on a case brought to the High Court by a transgender man (TT) who has given birth to a child (YY) and does not want to be registered on the birth certificate as the mother. His preferred terminology is either ‘father’ or a gender-neutral term such as ‘parent’.
A recent court ruling lifted anonymity for TT as news emerged of Freddy McConnell’s (TT) co-operation with a documentary entitled Seahorse following TT’s journey through IVF treatment, conception and the birth of YY.
The documentary is due to premiere at a film festival in New York this year and will also be published in the UK in a national newspaper. In the film TT is named throughout and in the credits. It is believed the BBC will broadcast the film later.
The case now awaits a decision from Sir Andrew McFarlane, the most senior judge in the Family Division of the High Court and is expected at any time. However, questions have now been raised as to whether the government needs to review current fertility law as McConnell was able to access a sperm donor just 10 days after legally changing his gender to become a man.
Currently, there is not a consistent approach to access to fertility treatment for those who are transgender with access varying across the country. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) initiated legal proceedings in August 2018 to address the inconsistencies. However, following the NHS agreeing to issue strict guidelines regarding the refusal to offer fertility preservation to trans patients the EHRC agreed not to pursue their legal claim.
This complicated and potentially law changing case currently before the court draws further attention to the fact the current laws need reviewing.
This article was first published on Stowe Family Law's website and is reproduced with permission.