“Being a ‘mother’ or a ‘father’ with respect to the conception, pregnancy and birth of a child is not necessarily gender specific,” McFarlane concluded after McConnell requested a judicial review.
“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’.”
If the word “mother” is to have a meaning that seems to be about it, no?
And Surrogacy? Isn’t the person who provided the egg actually the mother?
Read the comment of the judge carefully and pay attention to his words.
…is the status afforded to a person who undergoes the physical and biological process of carrying a pregnancy and giving birth…
So egg donors can claim maternacy but not motherhood…
We’re all going to hell.
“So egg donors can claim maternacy but not motherhood…”
I agree that is what the judge said. I don’t think that is necessarily going to be the final word. Not that the alternative would make Freddy happy either.
That’s a new one on the OED. Are the courts now to start inventing language as well as law?
Send it to the Supreme Court.
They are all sensible, impartial and well-balanced judges whose wisdom will guide us on this tricky matter.
Words have meaning.
It is biology: primary sex organs and the hormones they secrete that make someone a mother… the ability to lactate and breast feed, the drive to nurture and bond with the neonate, the feminine characteristics which effect behavioural development of children, which males do not have.
Mothers have to be female otherwise the biology is not there and they are not ‘mothers’ irrespective of them being so called.
Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the high court’s family division, ruled on Wednesday that motherhood was about being pregnant and giving birth regardless of whether the person who does so was considered a man or a woman in law
But what if the baby came out of xer mangina?
Thanks, Tom, you broke my sarcasm detector.
Oops didn’t notice this thread before commenting on t’other. Think this comment makes more sense here actually.
The judge’s reasoning is quite interesting actually and I can see the logic in it. Think this will be overturned on appeal though because the judge went out on a bit of a limb with this one, suspect some of you will be just as incredulous at it as at McConnell’s claims. The judge reasoned thusly…
It’s actually a sexist stereotype to assume mothers are women.
Most mothers in history were women. But increasingly mothers are men, too.
Albeit in small numbers, yes. But people looking at the word “mother” and assuming it is feminine are basically being sexist.
“Mother” is not a gender role. The word simply refers to any man or woman (or presumably non-binary or genderqueer or third spirit or whatever) person who carries and gives birth to a child. Hence McConnell is both a man and a mother as far as the birth certificate is concerned.
Now this is consistent with how surrogacy is treated in birth certificates in English law- initially the surrogate who gave birth is put down as the mother. But those birth certificates can later be reissued to name the intended parents. In that case the “mother” need not be the person who gave birth, and perhaps more importantly for this case, the person who gave birth need not be the “mother”. McConnell’s argument is that his child’s birth certificate will be an anomalous official document in that it reveals McConnell must have had a functioning womb at the time, with the strong implication to anyone who sees it that McConnell has changed gender from being initially assigned female. Law and policy have moved towards documentation that don’t “dead-gender” people by revealing their gender history. So it seems likely to me McConnell will either win on appeal or there will be a further change in the law to his benefit.
Oddly I think the judge’s reasoning is perhaps better aligned with the more gender-fluid world that trans activists are trying to create – why should, in such a world, roles like “mother” or “father” still possess any gendered attributes? Why should knowing someone has a functioning womb make them any less of a man, when that’s purely biology and not psycho-socio-cultural gender? Why should anyone who saw the document draw the conclusion the mother had had a change of genders – for all they know it could be that McConnell has been non-binary or male-presenting since early childhood so had never “changed”.
Anyone with more traditional views who sees the headline and thinks “wow, a victory for common sense and nice to see a judge who hasn’t gone all-in with this modern gender nonsense” might be rather surprised to read the actual reasoning…
jollygreenman: yep, in cases of wombs-for-hire the “real” mother has to adopt the child. All fairly simple and common sense really. There have however been occasional cases where the birth mother changes their mind and refuses to allow the genetic mother to adopt the baby.
Couldn’t they put their old female down for mother and their new name down for father, this entire can’t ever use my old name thing is silly, can’t go back and rewrite history