Japanese transgender woman who froze their sperm when they were a man cannot be recognised as the legal parent of the child they helped produce, Tokyo high court rules
- Only a child born before a transgender woman’s surgery is theirs, court decides
- Despite freezing sperm before transition, they are not deemed the legal parent
- Japan has the strictest anti-LGBT+ laws in the G7 and even bans gay marriage
- To legally transition, transgender people must first have surgery: government
A transgender woman who froze their sperm before transitioning is not the legal parent of the child they helped produce, a court in Japan has ruled.
Only a child born before their surgery and legal gender change is formally their child, the judge on Tokyo’s High Court decided yesterday.
The unidentified trans woman, a man at birth, had two daughters with their female partner using sperm preserved before their transition.
Four years ago they were legally permitted to change their gender on the family register, reports said.
A country where same-sex marriage remains illegal and many LGBT+ people remain in the closet, Japan obligates its transgender population to have surgery before they can legally change their gender.
Tokyo’s high court (GV image) made the controversial ruling yesterday, two months after it decided the country’s blanket ban on gay marriage was not unconstitutional
That means removing the sexual organs they were born with before taking any steps further toward transitioning, a rule sharply criticised by human rights campaigners.
Though the woman’s partner was recognized as the legal mother of the girls due to having given birth to them, their request to be recognised as their parent wasn’t accepted by a Tokyo family court in February.
That court said ‘there is currently nothing in Japanese law to recognize her parental rights,’ in a ruling the woman appealed.
On Friday, Tokyo High Court ruled that she could be recognised as parent of the daughter born before her legal gender change, but not the second, born after.
No further details were immediately available.
Japan remains the only G7 nation not to recognize same-sex marriage.
In June, a Japanese court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was not unconstitutional, dealing a setback to LGBTQ+ rights after a court in 2021 found the opposite.
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