KOBE – A 2-year-old boy born via artificial insemination is in family registry limbo, having been fathered by the younger brother of a gender identity disorder patient who acquired legal status as a male and who is now waging a battle to gain recognition as the child’s legitimate father.
The 29-year-old GID parent, who lives in Osaka and is married to the woman who gave birth to the boy, did not undergo a sex-change operation but due to the medical diagnosis was able to be registered as male under a special 2004 law. The parent threatened Thursday to file a suit to force the government to officially recognize the son.
The Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, resident obtained male sexual status in 2008 and married soon afterward. The wife gave birth to their son the next year through artificial insemination, using the brother-in-law’s semen.
But a municipal office in Hyogo Prefecture, where the couple were living at the time, refused to register the son’s birth, arguing that the husband of record is not the boy’s biological father and thus the child can’t receive legitimate offspring status.
The husband vowed to resubmit the son’s birth registration in Tokyo, the family’s current registered domicile, and will file an appeal at the Tokyo Family Court if authorities reject the application.
“I want (the country) to recognize him as our child,” said the husband. “I have decided to file suit in Tokyo so the Justice Ministry will take this issue seriously.”
Children born through artificial insemination are usually recognized as legitimate offspring because parents are not required to report details about the birth, and municipal officials handling birth registrations are thus unaware of such circumstances.
In this case, however, the municipal office learned of the sexual status change through the husband’s family registration record, which included details of the gender switch, and was in a position to determine the husband is not the boy’s biological father.
In 2010, then Justice Minister Keiko Chiba expressed willingness to reassess the family registry situation in connection with GID cases, but no legislative progress has been made.
The special law enacted in 2004 enables people with GID to change their sex in the registry.