Japan’s Supreme Court reversed a ruling made by the lower courts of Tokyo in favor of a transgender man and acknowledged him as the legal father of a child born through in vitro fertilization, even though the sperm provided was sought from a third-party. The decision was agreed to by three justices from the top court, while two opposed it with the top court junking Tokyo District Court and Tokyo High Court’s earlier decision to deny the transgender man’s plea to be recognized as the father of the child, stating that he has no reproductive capacity to bear a child.
The Supreme Court based their decision on the 2004 Gender Identity Disorder (GID) special law that allows people to change the gender they initially registered and also to marry legally. “It is wrong not to certify a father-child relationship on the ground that they are not blood-related, as the law allows a husband who cannot expect to have a child with his wife to marry,” the ruling said. Takehiko Otani, the presiding judge on the latest decision, was not in favor and said that issues involving assisted reproduction technologies are something that should be settled through legislative measures.
The couple will now be able to register the husband as the child’s father with the result from the Supreme Court. With the latest favorable ruling, the couple are hoping that the same will be granted to their other son, as they have already filed a similar suit which was denied by the Osaka Family Court and is currently pending a ruling from the Osaka High Court.