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German Court Rules Against Transgender Woman’s Request to Be Recognized As Child’s Mother

A court in Germany has ruled against recognizing the gender identity of transgender parents for the second time in six months.

The nation’s highest court, known as the Federal Court of Justice, denied a request on Thursday for a trans woman to be recognized as her child’s mother. The plaintiff (who was unnamed in media reports) inseminated her female partner in 2012 using sperm collected prior to her transition.

When their child was born in 2015, she requested to be listed as a second mother on the infant’s birth documents but was refused.

That decision was upheld by a lower court in 2017.

The Federal Court of Justice concurred with the earlier ruling, stating that only the plaintiff’s “fundamental rights aren’t breached by the fact that existing ancestry law assigns her the legal status of parent according to her former sex.”

Judges claimed “only the woman who gives birth can be considered the child’s legal mother,” as reported by Reuters.

The verdict is identical to the conclusion the Federal Court of Justice came to last September in regards to a transgender man, Oscar Müller, who wished to be legally designated as his child’s father after transitioning in 2011. Müller became pregnant in 2012 and gave birth to his son a year later. He would be listed as the child’s “mother” on the birth certificate.

The court claimed Müller had no right to have his parentage updated, saying that “the roles of father and mother are not interchangeable.”

Despite these setbacks against LGBTQ rights in Germany, the European nation paved the way for the creation of a third gender category following a November ruling from its constitutional court. It argued that forcing individuals to identify as “male” or “female” constituted a violation of their right to privacy.

Photography:Joe Gratz/Flickr


Nico Lang

Nico Lang is a staff writer for INTO, covering news, politics, and global LGBTQ issues.