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Transgender man denied legal claims to his son

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The Osaka Family Court on Friday rejected a demand from a 31-year-old transsexual man for the court to confirm that a 1-year-old boy his wife had using a third person’s sperm is his legitimate child.

 At the Osaka Family Court, Judge Keiko Kuboi said, “It is obvious that his wife could not conceive the boy through sexual intercourse with the man.”

The man, previously a woman who changed genders due to gender identity disorder, plans to appeal to a higher court.

Through artificial insemination using the sperm of a donor, the man’s wife had a boy in 2009 and a second boy in 2012. When the couple reported the births to central Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, both boys were registered as out-of-wedlock children.

In the lawsuit, the man claimed that children born through artificial insemination by donors to men who lack reproductive functions should be treated as children born in wedlock.

But Kuboi noted, “The Japanese Civil Code does not assume a father-child relationship that should not exist as a result of natural reproduction.”

While their family registrations can record that transgender men had children via donor insemination, such a situation cannot be confirmed in nontransgender men’s family registrations, the judge said.

Under the government’s special law for people with gender identity disorder, the man was allowed to change genders in 2008 and married his wife, now 31 years old.

The family court in Tokyo and the Tokyo High Court rejected a claim filed in March 2012 by the man and his wife to correct the first boy’s family registration. They have appealed to the Supreme Court.

“I strongly felt that only those with gender identity disorder are being discriminated against,” the man said at a news conference held after the ruling was handed down.

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