Transgender woman cannot be recognized as mother of daughter, Supreme Court rules

A transgender woman cannot be recognized as the mother of her daughter without having to go through an adoption, according to a decision of the Court of Cassation on Wednesday, described as “scandalous” by the plaintiff’s lawyers.

The highest French court was called upon to judge the case of Claire (first name changed), a 51-year-old woman born male and having had a child after her transition.

In 2011, Claire was officially recognized as a woman on her marital status. She then had a daughter naturally with her wife in 2014, as she had not yet been operated on and therefore possessed her male reproductive organs.

She has since demanded to be recognized as the mother of her daughter, which has always been refused to her: as a parent, she was offered the status of father, or to adopt her own daughter as a second mother.

At the end of 2018, the Montpellier Court of Appeal granted him the status of “biological parent”, a new category.

The Court of Cassation annulled almost all of the judgment, except the part devoted to the refusal of mother status, and referred the case to the Toulouse Court of Appeal.

In June, the Advocate General of the Court of Cassation, on the contrary, spoke in favor of this recognition.

Clélia Richard, Claire’s lawyer, denounced a “scandalous” decision, “a missed opportunity”. “The fight is unfortunately not over,” lamented the lawyer. Her client, whom she contacted by telephone, criticized “a frozen and immobile justice”.

“So a 6-year-old girl will keep on her birth certificate only one of her two mothers, only one of her two parents, the mother who gave birth, the other is not allowed to be included. C ‘is abject, “she denounced.

The Court of Cassation “explains in fairly biologic terms that Claire can only be the father”, detailed Mathieu Stoclet, the applicant’s lawyer before the Court.

He underlines “an inconsistency”: “Claire can be recognized as a father on the civil status certificate of her daughter while she is a woman for the civil status”.

“This judgment constitutes a considerable step backwards towards a conception of filiation that we believed to be buried,” denounced Bertrand Périer, who represents the association of gay and lesbian parents (APGL).

The lawyers announced an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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