If you are a trans parent (using the term inclusively to cover transgender, non-binary, gender diverse and other non cisgender identities), you may want to understand how any change in your legal gender will affect your legal status as your child's parent. If you are conceiving a child, you may also want to understand whether your gender identity can be appropriately reflected on his or her birth certificate i.e. whether you will be recorded as your child's mother, father or parent. UK law does not address all these issues fully and, at least at present, this may mean that you do not have the correct parental title.
The simple answer to this is yes. Section 12 of the Gender Recognition Act states: The fact that a person's gender has become the acquired gender under this Act does not affect the status of the person as the mother or father of a child.
This was intended to protect the existing legal parenthood of trans parents who have children before they change legal gender. It means that you will remain your children's legal father if you become legally female, and you will remain your children's legal mother if you become legally male.
That may not reflect how you identify your name and relationship with your child, but you will not lose any legal status or rights in respect of your children as a result of changing your legal gender. It is not possible, under the current law, for your children’s birth certificates to be changed to include your revised name or legal gender.
There is no clear provision in UK legislation for trans parents who conceive after having transitioned, and the current law can produce odd outcomes. In the important case of Re TT (2019), Freddy McConnell was a trans man (legally male, with a gender recognition certificate) who gave birth to a son in the UK. He wanted to be recorded as his son's 'parent' or 'father' on the birth certificate, but the High Court, and later the Court of Appeal, ruled that he had to be registered as the 'mother'.
This has thrown some doubt on how the law works for other trans parents. In the past, we have dealt with cases in which trans men (although not those who have given birth) have been registered as 'fathers' and trans women have been registered as 'parents' rather than 'mothers' so a lot depends on the particular circumstances of the case rather than there being a blanket rules. Briefly, the current law works as follows:
UK law needs to be more flexible to allow parents to choose the parental title recorded on their children's birth certificates, or otherwise to make all documents concerning legal parenthood gender neutral. It is important for children that their birth certificates, and the law more generally, recognises the realities of their lives and relationships.
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