A transgender man who gave birth in 2018 has lost his bid to register as his son's father.
Freddy McConnell, 32, transitioned almost a decade ago but retained his reproductive system. After his son Jack was born, a registrar insisted McConnell had to be recorded as the baby's mother on the birth certificate.
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That's despite McConnell holding a gender recognition certificate proving that under British law he is considered male.
He took his case to England's highest family court, where judge Sir Andrew McFarlane ruled on Wednesday (local time) that motherhood is a "parental status" and different to gender.
"Being a 'mother' or a 'father' with respect to the conception, pregnancy and birth of a child is not necessarily gender specific," McFarlane said.
"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."
The Guardian reports McConnell is "saddened" by the decision and is considering an appeal.
"If it is upholding the status quo then I am really worried about what that this means not just for me but other trans people who are parents or who want to become parents," he said.
"It upholds the view that only the most traditional forms of family are properly recognised or treated equally. It's just not fair."
McConnell has spoken publicly about his experiencing pregnancy as a man, and was the subject of the recent documentary Seahorse - named after the species in which males are the ones who get pregnant.