Mr McConnell, who was born female but was subsequently legally recognised as male by the Gender Recognition Panel, was told by the Registrar General after giving birth that he must be registered as ‘mother’ on the birth certificate, rather than ‘father’ or ‘parent’.
At the Family court last year, the President of the Family Division handed down judgment in R (on the app of TT) v Registrar General for England & Wales & others  EWHC 2384 (Fam), agreeing with the Registrar General that the parent should be registered as ‘mother’ on the birth certificate.
In the judgment, the President concluded, at para.279:
“… 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’.”
Yesterday, Mr McConnell began his appeal by arguing that the Registrar General should modify the current birth certificate form to protect the rights of transgender people by offering the gender neutral options such as “parent one” and “parent two”.
Samantha Broadfoot QC is appearing in the appeal with her junior Andrew Powell, acting for the AIRE Centre and instructed by Pennington Manches Cooper LLP. The AIRE Centre is a charity focussed upon promoting the understanding of European rights, which was granted permission to intervene in the hearing. The case is being heard by the Lord Chief Justice and two additional members of the Court of Appeal.
BBC News coverage may be read here.