Hello! Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, particularly with a few developments happening in the world of interest to children of transitioners.
It’s been a difficult couple of months for most of the world, obviously. I hope you are all safe. I do worry about children whose father might decide that lockdown might be a great time to ‘come out’. Solidarity with anyone caught in situations like this.
One piece of positive news has been the launch of a new site for trans widows:
It’s a great resource, with lots of different voices of women whose partners have transitioned. For myself, I have found that listening to the stories of partners of transitioners has really helped me understand what my mother (and my father’s second wife) went through. It’s deepened our relationship to discuss these experiences and to know that other people have felt the same.
In other news, Freddy ‘Seahorse’ McConnell failed in an appeal against a ruling that she couldn’t change her son’s birth certificate to make her the ‘father.’ You know it’s 2020 when you can write a sentence that bonkers and know that readers will understand. Apparently, a higher appeal might happen. I hope not. I’m really sorry that this is upsetting to Freddy but the wider implications of a ruling in favour of this bid would be damaging.
This was an important case for future children of transitioners in the UK, as well as children of surrogates, as it would have enabled people to register children with inaccurate birth certificates which did not accurately record their mother.
The judgement concluded:
“The view that Parliament has taken is that every child should have a mother and should be able to discover who their mother was, because that is in the child’s best interests.”
I was very pleased to see that the case concluded with the priority of the child’s interests rather than their parent. Freddie very much chose to have a baby, which was conceived with medical intervention. That child now has a right to know their origins and be treated as a human being, not just a means of validation.
More emotional validation involves a case of surrogacy and a trans couple, Jake and Hannah Graf. The couple, having taken a baby from its natural mother, say that she will remain in her baby’s life as a ‘family friend’. So that’s nice.
It’s excellent to see a growing anti-surrogacy movement emerging, recognising the dangers in exploiting women’s bodies and also the problems inherent in removing a baby from their mother at birth. Half the time I seem to see mothers admonished for not doing everything they can in their pregnancy, birthing and post-natal care for the health of the baby (You drank a glass of wine! You didn’t play Mozart to the foetus !). The other half seems to have no problem with messing around with women’s bodies and taking a child away before its mother can even hold it. No breasts to feed from, no skin-to-skin contact with your mother. We would recognise this as cruelty in any other non-woke context.
There is an interesting article on surrogacy from Feminist Current here:
When my father transitioned, there was some profit to be made from men in the form of electrolysis, surgery and clothing, but nothing like today. The lucrative trans industry includes plastic surgeons keen to offer a whole range of procedures, Big Pharma keen to make available hormones the transitioner will need for their whole life and also services like surrogacy, ironically often making up for the very thing that you had cut away from you in the first place. The time is surely coming when we as a society should examine the ethics of surrogacy, as well as the potential damage to babies born from mothers taking testosterone.