Trans woman denied right to be named as her child’s mother in a ‘scandalous’ high court ruling

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A trans woman has been denied the right to be officially recognised as her child’s biological mother by the highest court in France.

The woman, 51, called Claire, was told by the Cour de Cassation on Wednesday (16 September) that she can only be recognised as her child’s mother by adopting her.

She and her wife had a child together in 2014, three years after she obtained legal gender recognition in France.

Ever since, the woman has been fighting for the right to be officially considered as the child’s second mother – but French authorities have resisted, France 24 reports.

In sum, it amounts to telling my client: ‘Either you adopt, or you are not her mother.’

Despite the fact that the woman is legally recognised as female, she is still considered to be her child’s father on legal documentation.

The woman had previously won the right to be recognised under the new category of “biological parent” in a Montpellier court in 2018 – but the Cour de Cassation overturned much of that decision in its ruling Wednesday.

The trans woman was told by a court in France that she must adopt her child to be considered a mother.

Clelia Richard, the trans woman’s lawyer, slammed the court’s ruling as “scandalous” and said it was a “lost opportunity”.

“My client is devastated,” Richard told Libération. “This is a lost opportunity. The justice system is rigid, immobile, as is often the case.”

“In sum, it amounts to telling my client: ‘Either you adopt, or you are not her mother.'”

“The fight is unfortunately not over,” she said.

LGBT+ campaigner Mathieu Stoclet criticised the double standard at play, whereby the woman can be legally recognised as female, but cannot be recognised as the child’s mother.

Meanwhile, Bertrand Perier of the APGL association of gay and lesbian parents said: “The ruling is a considerable step backwards towards a concept of parenthood that was believed to be long buried.”

Bastien Lachaud, an MP with the France Unbowed party, said the court’s decision was “unjust and incomprehensible” and called for legal reform to allow trans people to be recognised as the parents of their own children.

The woman’s legal team said they would continue to pursue the case, and they will take their fight for recognition to the European Court of Human Rights.