Definition of Mother in the English Legal System Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2021

start page

  • 113

end page

  • 134


  • 16

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2340-9592


  • The purpose of this paper is to analyse how the term "mother" is defined in the English legal system. This question has recently been raised in English courts due to the McConnel case; where a woman, who had undergone a gender transition and acquired full legal recognition as a male, gave birth to a child and asked to be registered as the father of his child. In the first part of the paper, I will study the legal frame and the main decisions of the English courts. In the second part, I will analyse the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and the consequences of the McConnel case in English family law. And finally, I will explain the role that the principle of the best interests of the child plays in this context.


  • Law
  • Sociology


  • transsexual; transgender; best interests of the child; right to respect for private and family life