Transgender Japanese man denied right to be the legal parent of his son

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A transgender man in Japan was denied the right to be the legal parent of his son.

He has been legally married to his wife since 2008, and their family registry information recognizes the father as a man. The father legally changed his gender before the couple was married.

Still, the Osaka Family Court refused to allow the father to become the legal parent to his child, whom his wife conceived through artificial insemination.

A report from the Japan Daily Press indicated that the court concluded that since the father has no biological relationship to his son, he cannot be considered a legal parent.

The couple’s son’s birth was registered at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward last year, but the hospital would not allow for the child to be registered as born to married parents.

Reports by the Japan Daily Press indicate that Japan’s 2004 Gender Identity Disorder Act allows for transgender individuals to legally change their gender; however, it does not permit transgender people to be legal parents. The only “loophole” in this process is through adoption. A non-biological parent can legally adopt through a “special adoption service” which was started in early August.

Japan’s Health Ministry announced that the Japan Medical Association requested for the Fukada Hospital in Kumamoto to launch an adoption service which would allow for non-biological parents to adopt a child without having the adoption appear on the registry.

Most adoptions list the child’s biological parents on the registry; this special process does not. Additionally, under this adoption service, any legal rights the biological parent may have had are abolished.

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