2022-05-28

Government urged to change ‘discriminatory’ birth certificate rules


A stock photo of a baby. (Envato/Stock)

The British government’s policy on birth registration “is outdated and discriminatory” against LGBT+ people and their children, a new petition states.

Currently, the children of many queer and trans parents face a lifetime of disadvantage because birth registration policy doesn’t legally recognise their family structure. This means these children have inaccurate birth certificates, putting them at risk of discrimination and harassment for their entire lives.

This situation is particularly acute for families where one or more parents are trans or non-binary: as PinkNews reported last month, an archaic UK law from the 1950s insists whoever gives birth to a baby can only be recorded as the mother on the birth certificate.

“UK birth registration is outdated and discriminatory,” says a petition calling on the government to equally recognise LGBT+ parents, which has been signed by more than 2,000 people.

The petition continues: “Birth certificates should record legal parenthood. Parents need the choice to register according to their legal gender or gender neutrally. The gender neutral ‘parent’ label should be available to anyone to choose.

“All legal parents, including through surrogacy, must be recognised from conception and allowed to register on their child’s birth certificate.”

The petition is part of a campaign by trans dad and journalist Freddy McConnell, who lost a four-year legal battle to be named his child’s dad on their birth certificate.

McConnell is now planning to give birth to his second child abroad, in Sweden – where trans men who give birth can be listed as parent or father – so that his baby will have an accurate birth certificate. This journey will be documented by filmmakers as part of the campaign for equal recognition for LGBT+ families in the UK.

You can support the campaign for equal recognition for LGBT+ parents by signing the petition here and donating to the crowdfunder for documentary My Trans Family here.



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