Federal Court of Justice Recognizes the Role of Biology in Reproduction (Germany)

On January 4, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”), the country’s highest court, ruled that a transgender woman must be listed on his child’s birth certificate as the father of the child, not the mother. The individual is a man who identifies as a transgender woman, and who froze his sperm before undergoing gender reassignment. In 2015, his female spouse gave birth to a child conceived using his frozen sperm.

Although the couple provided a written request to have both individuals listed as “mothers” of the child on the child’s birth certificate, the registry denied this request and listed only the female spouse as the mother. The male spouse, who provided the sperm, was listed as the biological father.

The BGH found that the “trans person’s fundamental rights aren’t breached by the fact that existing ancestry law” assigns legal status of parenting according to one’s biological sex and “the specific contribution to procreation that resulted from this.”

Therefore, consistent with biology and common sense, the court determined that the individual who provides the sperm is the father of a child, and the individual who gives birth is the mother, regardless of legal gender or gender identity. This ruling is also consistent with an earlier ruling in which the court held that a woman who identifies as a transgender man, and is legally recognized as a transgender man, is not eligible to be recognized as the biological father of the child she gave birth to.

Germany’s gender laws need overhaul after trans woman told she can only be recognised as child’s father, say LGBT rights activists

German court rules transsexual woman can’t be ‘mother’