Trans dad wins right to be named ‘parent’ on child’s birth certificate – but not ‘father’

Israel: Trans parents can now be recorded on their baby's birth certificates

Trans parents in Israel will now be able to be recorded on their children’s birth certificates as “parent” after a landmark court ruling.

The High Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday (5 May) that transgender parents will now be registered as “parent”, but not “mother” or “father”, on birth certificates in a case brought by a trans man and his partner.

“The court spoke today in a clear voice in favour of the trans community’s right to parenthood and equality,” said Dr. Ido Katri of Tel Aviv University, chairman of trans advocacy group Project Gila.

“Unfortunately, however, the gap between the court’s words and actions is very large. The ruling continues to reflect outdated perceptions and conditions the recognition of trans parenting on its appeal to a medical committee.”

Israel finally agreed that being trans is not a mental disorder in January this year.

The landmark ruling comes in the case of Yonatan and Daniel Martin Marom, two men who had a son together. After the baby was born Yonatan, who is trans, found that his legal gender had been changed without his permission from male to female and that he’d been registered as his child’s “mother”.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the state also refused to put Daniel on the baby’s birth certificate, meaning the two men and their son were denied health services and social rights. The pair filed a lawsuit demanding to both be on their son’s birth certificate as their correct genders, which was later joined by another couple in a similar position.

Delivering their verdict, the High Court of Justice judges said: “Petitioners’ argument regarding the difference between the purpose of the population registry and that of the birth certificate is correct.

“While the population registry is intended to provide information about the individual registered in it, the birth certificate is intended to provide information about the newborn and not his parents’ gender identity. Therefore, a non-gendered reference to the transgender parent in his child’s birth certificate does not involve a withdrawal of any interest.”

The ruling means that trans men who give birth in Israel can remain registered as male, although they must confirm to the Gender Adjustment Committee that their sex is unchanged by the birth. Transgender parents will be recorded as the gender-neutral “parent” and will not be able to be registered as their child’s mother or father.

Ran Shalhavi, director-general of LGBT+ equality organisation The Agudah, commented on the ruling: “Yonatan and Merom underwent a mask of abuse from the state that violated their basic right to be parents, and just because of who they are,.

“Today, we will take a big step toward equality and recognition of everyone’s right to be a parent and exercise their right, but the step is not enough, and we will continue to fight so that everyone can exercise their love regardless of this or that committee.

“We all hope that we will also reach a new era of tolerance and acceptance toward people on the trans spectrum and toward each other.”