German Court Rejects Transgender Man’s Request to be Recognized as Child’s Father

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice ruled on Monday that a transgender man who gave birth has no right to be recognized as his child’s father on the birth certificate.

After becoming Europe’s first “pregnant man,” Oscar Müller gave birth in 2013 at his home. Müller, who was attended by a midwife, conceived his son through artificial insemination and the use of a sperm donor. Although Müller has been legally recognized as male since 2011, when German law began allowing trans people to update their documentation, he was listed as the child’s mother on the birth certificate.

Müller’s legal name was also listed on the document.

The federal court denied Müller’s request to have his child’s birth certificate amended in full recognition of his gender identity, stating that “the roles of father and mother are not interchangeable.” Justices claimed that under German law, the parent who gives birth is de facto recognized as the mother.

According to the court, this practice shields the child from “embarrassing situations.” It also allows Müller’s son to apply to have the sperm donor listed as his “father” down the roadif he so chooses.

The judges did recognize that this presents problems for Müller: Being listed as female on his son’s birth certificate could open his family up to discrimination.

Yet that did not change the court’s opinion.

This is just the most recent time that the German legal system has sided against Müller, who resides in the Neukoelln district of Berlin. The municipal court in Schöneberg and Berlin’s Supreme Court both argued that his request has no standing under current law. The German civil code states, “The mother of a child is the woman who gave birth to it.”

The German Society for Trans Identity and Intersexuality, who was not available for comment prior to publication, has argued that the decision will be overturned in the country’s Federal Constitutional Court.

Müller’s birth name was repeatedly listed in a news report about the ruling from Badische Zeitung, a German newspaper located in the Black Forest.

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