Germany’s highest court rules that a transgender woman who provided sperm cannot be listed as mom

Germany’s highest court rules that a transgender woman who provided sperm cannot be listed as mom
A Germany court ruled that transgender woman who stored sperm before having a male-to-female sex change cannot be the mother of a child born from that sperm. (Henning Bagger/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany’s highest court has ruled that a transgender woman whose frozen sperm was used to father a child cannot be the child’s mother.

The Federal Court of Justice said Thursday that a mother is designated only to the person who gives birth to a child, according to Deutsche Welle.

What’s the story?

The distinction came out of a case involving a transgender parent who was fighting for the right to be listed as the mother of the child born to her female partner, DW reported.

“The transsexual person’s fundamental rights aren’t breached by the fact that existing ancestry law assigns her the legal status of parent according to her former sex and the specific contribution to procreation that resulted from this,” Federal Court judges decided, The Chicago Tribune reported.

The plaintiff was listed as a woman in a 2012 same-sex marriage but had stored sperm before undergoing a male-to-female sex change. That sperm was used to fertilize the partner’s egg.

Under German law, the relationship between a mother and child is determined by who gives birth to the child. Legally changing gender does not affect the legal relationship.

In a similar case last year, the court found that a mother who gave birth before transitioning to a man could not retroactively become the child’s father, DW reported.

What’s the reaction?

Gay and lesbian groups criticized the court’s decision.

“Legal recognition of the broad constellation of [the] diversity of rainbow families must be guaranteed,” the Lesbians and Gay Federation group in Germany told DW.