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Transgender parents can be agender ‘parent’ on child’s birth certificate

CM 05/05/2021

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 Transgender parents can now be registered simply as their child’s parent, without any specification of gender (such as “mother” or “father”) registered on their child’s birth certificate, after a landmark decision by the High Court of Justice on Wednesday.

The decision comes as part of a suit by two men, Yonatan and Daniel Martin Marom. Yonatan is a transgender man. Yonatan and Daniel had a son through a natural birth. After the birth of their son, Yonatan found that his gender in the population registry had been changed without his permission from male to female and that he had been registered as the child’s mother.
Additionally, the state refused to register Daniel as the father of the child, meaning that the parents and their son were being refused a number of health services and social rights.
The couple filed a suit to the High Court of Justice to demand that they be registered as the child’s parents with their proper gender identity. During the suit, an additional couple joined the suit.
The Ma’avarim Association and Project Gila, both of which work to progress transgender empowerment in Israel, as well as the Agudah – The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, helped the couple in the suit.
The High Court accepted the position of the petitioners and ruled that even if a transgender man is registered as a female in the population registry, that does not justify the harm caused by registering him on the child’s birth certificate as a “mother.”
“Petitioners ‘argument regarding the difference between the purpose of the population registry and that of the birth certificate is correct,” stated the judges in their ruling. “While the population registry is intended to provide information about the individual registered in it, the birth certificate is intended to provide information about the newborn and not his parents’ gender identity. Therefore, a non-gendered reference to the transgender parent in his child’s birth certificate does not involve a withdrawal of any interest.”

The ruling also means that men who give birth will be able to remain registered as male in the population registry, but will need to apply to the Gender Adjustment Committee to confirm that the birth does not change the sex of the person giving birth. On the birth certificate, both parents will be referred to as “parent,” without any specification of gender.
“Yonatan and Merom underwent a mask of abuse from the state that violated their basic right to be parents and just because of who they are,” said Ran Shalhavi, director-general of the Agudah. “Today, we will take a big step towards equality and recognition of everyone’s right to be a parent and exercise their right, but the step is not enough and we will continue to fight so that everyone can exercise their love regardless of this or that committee.”
“We all hope that we will also reach a new era of tolerance and acceptance towards people on the trans spectrum and towards each other,” added Shalhavi.
“The court spoke today in a clear voice in favor of the trans community’s right to parenthood and equality,” said Dr. Ido Katri from Tel Aviv University, chairman of Project Gila. “Unfortunately, however, the gap between the court’s words and actions is very large. The ruling continues to reflect outdated perceptions and conditions the recognition of trans parenting on its appeal to a medical committee.”
The High Court decision comes just a week after Sapir Berman made sports history by officiating at a soccer match in Israel’s Premier League for the first time since coming out as transgender.
“This is the first step in a long and wonderful journey. Sapir, we are proud to do it with you,” the Israel Football Association tweeted as she took the field for the contest between Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Haifa.
At a news conference last Tuesday in which she publicly announced her transition, Berman, at 26 already a top referee in Israel’s leading soccer league, said she had always seen herself as a female, even at a young age.
The suit also comes as the High Court continues to wait for government to fix Israel’s surrogacy law to allow single men and same-sex couples to undergo the surrogacy process. The government has until July 1 to fix the constitutional issues with the legislation. If the law is not fixed until then, the High Court will step in and fix the legislation itself.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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