R (McConnell and YY) v Registrar General [2020] EWCA Civ 559

In May 2020, the Court of Appeal revisited the tension between the wish of a transgender person to have their legal gender recognised on their child’s birth certificate and the right of the child to discover the identity of their biological mother.

Alfred McConnell is legally recognised as male, as confirmed by a Gender Recognition Certificate issued in April 2017. Subsequent to his recognition as male, he became pregnant through inter-uterine insemination using donor sperm and gave birth to child YY. When he came to register the birth, the Registrar General determined that Mr McConnell would have to be registered as YY’s “mother”. This was challenged on the basis of statutory interpretation and the ECHR (particularly the right to private life, with the prohibition on discrimination also being relied on at first instance).

However, the Court ruled that as the person who gave birth to the child, the appellant must be registered as the “mother” on the child’s birth certificate, even thought he was a transgender male. It was held that this was not a breach of Article 8.

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