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Parents – gender

 A definition of the term ‘mother’ has been established for the first time under English common law in a landmark case. At issue was: where a person born female who has undergone gender transition and acquired full legal recognition as male, becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child – is that person to be registered as ‘mother’ or ‘father’? 
 
In essence, the court was required to define the term ‘mother’ under the law of England and Wales. Following a lengthy ruling, the President of the Family Division concluded: 
 
‘… there is a material difference between a person’s gender and their status as a parent. 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. Whilst that person’s gender is “male”, their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of “mother”.’
 
He also confirmed that none of the relevant Acts of Parliament (ie the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Acts 1990 and 2008 and the Gender Recognition Act 2004) alter this outcome.
 
Furthermore, he dismissed an argument that the English law is incompatible with Art 8 ECHR on this point. R (on the application of TT) v The Registrar General for England and Wales [2019] EWHC 2384 (Fam). Source: www.judiciary.co.uk.
 

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