French Trans Woman Denied Parental Rights for Her Biological Child by High Court

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday September 19, 2020

France's highest court ruled on Aug. 16 that a trans woman cannot be listed as the mother of her own biological child without going through a second parent adoption process, reports Yahoo News.

The verdict is the culmination of a six-year battle in which the woman - identified only as "Claire" - has sought to be listed as her child's mother, rather than father. Claire and her wife had had two children before Claire legally changed her gender to female in 2011, but three years after her gender change - while she still possessed "male reproductive organs," Yahoo News said - she and her wife had a third child.

The battle to be listed as the child's second mother started then, with a lower court ruling in 2018 that while Claire could not be listed as a second mother, she could be listed as the child's "biological parent," reports UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

The high court threw that accommodation out, ruling that "two maternal filiations cannot be established with regard to the same child, outside of adoption," and returning the case to a lower court.

Attorney Clelia Richard, representing Claire, decried the verdict as a "lost opportunity" and "scandalous."

Advocate for LGBTQ parents Bertrand Perier also spoke out, telling the media that the ruling is "a way of taking trans people back to their original identity, through a very serious negation of their transition process and recognition of their gender."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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