An English court has been presented with a mind-bending transgender dilemma in family law.
Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Division of the High Court has called for the working of the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act to be examined. It emerged that “TT”, born a woman but identifying as a man, was allowed “to access fertility treatment legally reserved for women” only days after being legally accepted as a “trans man” and granted a Gender Recognition Certificate under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act.
TT subsequently gave birth to a child, and “he” is now seeking to be legally recognised on “YY’s” birth certificate as the “father”.
Samantha Broadfoot QC, on behalf of the AIRE Centre – a charity that independently intervened to protect the rights of the child — produced government papers showing that “civil servants suggested the parent could simply be known as a ‘male mother’”. She said that “the child sees itself, and is presented to the world, as if TT is its dad. But its birth certificate officially presents its dad as its mum. This undermines the child’s individual identity and their moral and social security”. This approach was “utterly incongruous”, she added.
If by that she means that it is inconsistent, she is right, because the truth and a lie cannot coexist, least of all on the same birth certificate.
However, she favours telling yet another lie, and former journalist Baroness Joan Bakewell, who says that while she is “in general, a great believer in embracing truth and light in such situations” in this case agrees that TT should be listed as YY’s father. It seems she agrees with TT’s legal team that the answer to this artificially created problem — based on an artificially created child — is not to tell the truth. Instead we should tell another lie in the naive hope of reaching some sexual diversity heaven, like piling pillow upon pillow in the hope of reaching the sky instead of repeatedly banging our heads on the bedroom ceiling as we collide with the uncomfortable reality of nature.
As Peter Stanford points out, the whole case began in a lie, because the issuing of Gender Recognition Certificates requires “a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, the consent of a spouse if married, living in what the law describes as the ‘acquired gender’ for at least two years, and an intention to do so until death”.
Clearly, the last-mentioned requirement was not fulfilled and, conveniently for TT, neither does the GRA “require … any sort of gender reassignment surgery or hormonal treatment to have taken place”.
He also points out that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 2008, which regulates surrogacy arrangements, states clearly that the one who carries the child “is to be treated as the mother of the child”. This itself was an attempt to settle disputes between “surrogate” mothers – those who actually carry the child – and “commissioning” or “intending” parents. Now it seems this new case may drive a coach and horses through the lie erected to cover up the first lie – for if women who carry babies are surrogates and the commissioning parents are both men, who is the real mother?
Same-sex parenting, now legal, is based on the falsehood that a mother (or father, in other cases) can be dispensed with from the very beginning of a child's life with no untoward consequences. And the lie underpinning all this is that these lies are required to preserve the child’s best interests, when we all know that being treated as a commodity is in nobody’s best interests.
But perhaps the greatest lie is that having children in the natural way – without outside intervention and the purchase of eggs, sperm or wombs – is somehow inferior to the great scientifically-mediated event – the production of the “chosen child”.
This echoes the historical eugenics theme of the “wanted child” being superior to the “unwanted child” – the product of “thoughtless reproduction”. And yet in reality wanted children may find they can never satisfy the unreal expectations of the adults who commission them, whereas the child born of love and accepted unconditionally has a much better chance of becoming a well-balanced human being and of living a fulfilled life.
The idea that someone who strongly identifies as a man would want to give birth to a child throws the whole trans ideology into doubt, but it has powerful supporters – the AIRE Centre receives money from Comic Relief and the Council of Europe.
Their ideology is driven by the belief that what makes adults happy must make children happy too. But what any child wants is a father and mother — preferably living in the same house — not a “male mother”. Hopefully Sir Andrew, who has delayed his decision in this case, will not be party to this further falsehood but will realise that law, like love, cannot be built on an Orwellian tissue of lies.
Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St Pauls, 1995), and Prophets & Priests: the Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (St Austin Press, 2002).