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Trans woman in Japan denied status as parent of her own daughter

  • A Japanese court has ruled that a trans woman in her 40s cannot be recognized as the legal parent of her second daughter due to her transition.

  • The court legally recognized the woman as the parent of her first daughter but not her second child as she was born following the woman’s transition.

  • The woman’s original request was denied in February, and after appealing against the ruling, the Tokyo high court denied her request once again on Friday.

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A trans woman in Japan was denied parental rights and recognition as the legal parent of her second daughter by the Tokyo high court due to her transition.

It was ruled on Friday that the trans woman in her 40s was only recognized as the legal parent of her first daughter. Since her second daughter was born after her transition, the court denied the woman’s rights as the girl’s legal parent.

The woman, who was assigned male at birth and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2018, had two daughters with her female partner using preserved sperm. Their second daughter was born in 2020 after the woman had changed her gender to female on the family registry. 

A Tokyo family court initially denied the woman her request to be recognized as her second daughter’s parent in February, although her partner was given the right as she had given birth to both of their children.

After she appealed against the ruling, presiding Judge Toshikazu Kino denied her request on Friday, stating that there is “currently nothing in Japanese law to recognize her parental rights.”

Japan is currently the only Group of Seven nation that does not recognize same-sex marriage. Gender reassignment in the country is only permitted under a special law regarding gender dysphoria.


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