Julie Bindel: To say a child has no mother is to deny biological reality Telegraph 14.02.19

The original article is here.

To choose to have a baby, which requires the use of a female body, and subsequently demand legal recognition as male is beyond ridiculous, selfish, and unnecessary. We know from swathes of research and personal testimony how important it is for children to understand their roots.

I am not suggesting that transgender people make bad parents, but there is something fundamentally wrong in legally depriving a child of a mother. Friends who are adopted, or who lost their mothers in childhood tell me it is horrendously painful to bear.

But at least many will have memories, photographs, and the knowledge of how they came into the world. To tell a child that it had no mother, and was born of a father only, is to deny every bit of biological reality.

Legally, this High Court case where a trans man is fighting to be legally recognised as the ‘father’ of a child they have given birth to is fraught with problems. If successful,  it could leave one baby, for the first time in legal history, motherless. Centuries ago, women who were unmarried were often not named on birth certificates, as the baby was already promised for adoption, which meant the child would never know its true lineage.

Children have a right to know from where they came. If trans men can be recorded as a father, it would set a precedent, where if a child is taken into care, that child will never know who their mother was, they would literally only see a father on the birth certificate.  Single and gay men can adopt and raise children perfectly well, but denying the existence of a birth mother, I believe, amounts to cruelty.

What next? It has taken centuries of campaigning by feminists to ensure that mothers have legal rights, so the last thing we need is for the law to disappear them. I hope this case is thrown out of the Supreme Court and the rights of the child are prioritised. I have no idea why this trans man requires the law to validate his chosen identity, but we should all agree that a child deserves to know how he or she came into the world.

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