Transmasculine person who gave birth will be named 'father' on child's birth certificate

A transmasculine person who gave birth will be recognised as the father on daughter's birth certificate after Illinois makes historic updates to the policy.

Trans masc person and wife posing in nativity style dress, showing off pregnancy.

Illinois will be updating the state’s birth certificate policy to acknowledge trans parents after a trans masc person requested to be recognised as the father of their child. 

A trans couple sent the request to the Illinois Department of Public Health when they were expecting their first child. Under the current system, the person who gave birth is automatically titled “Mother/Co-parent” on their child’s birth certificate. Due to this policy, Myles Brady-Davies, a transmasculine person who uses they/them pronouns, would be outed each time ID was required for their daughter. 

Myles expressed the importance of an accurate birth certificate, “All families deserve to be safe and respected, so why would our family be any different? For us, it is critical to have a birth certificate that affirms and respects who we are to each other as a family. An inaccurate birth certificate would create confusion, and for us, that could be dangerous. What parent would accept that?”

Working alongside the LGBT+ non-profit organisation Lambda Legal, the trans couple has appealed for changes to the system. Myles said, “Growing up, I always wanted to be a dad, so now that I’m a father, it means a lot to me that my child’s identifying document states that.”

A Lambda Legal attorney, Kara Ingelhar stated, “This is a document that any young person uses to enrol in school, join a little league team or maybe start treatment with a new doctor, and Myles and Precious should have the control to decide if, when and how they wish to disclose their trans identity.”

Changes to the birth certificate system is a groundbreaking occasion as it promotes the inclusivity of trans families and a phenomenal victory for the couple involved. A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Public Health has said they were the first trans parents to bring the issue to the state. 

In an article on the Lambda Legal website, Myles’ partner Precious Brady-Davies said, “Words cannot express the love and joy I feel. I am in awe of Myles and our baby. We dreamed of the day we would finally be parents and now that this dream is a reality, we are going to do everything we can to protect one another.”

Changes to the birth certificate system are much needed as it provides safety for the parents involved. Lambda Legal’s article referenced the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, which detailed how one-third of trans people who showed an identity document with a name or gender that was not their current one was harassed, denied services, and discriminated against.

Within Ireland, trans parents still lack protection under the updated Children and Family Relationships Act. Equality for Children has previously stated, “The CFRA provides pathways for children of LGBT+ families to have a legal relationship with both parents if, and only if, they are conceived using a clinic in Ireland, their parents are both women, they use a traceable sperm donor and the child is born in Ireland.”

Under UK legislation, trans men, trans masc, or non-binary people who give birth cannot be named as the father on the birth certificate. In September 2019, Freddy McConnell fought to be registered as his child’s father rather than the mother. However, the family division of the High Court overruled his appeal, and he remains ‘mother’ on the birth certificate.

The Illinois trans couple has created monumental change, not only protecting their family but ensuring others receive the same benefits. On Twitter, Precious said, “Our souls and hearts are full as our love has transformed into a new life! Thanks for sharing and understanding what this moment means to us and the rest of the community.” 

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