Transgender Couple Approaches Kerala HC Against Issuance Of Birth Certificate Of Their Child Mentioning ‘Father’ & ‘Mother’ Instead Of ‘Parents’
A transgender couple claiming to be the first transgender parents in India have approached the Kerala High Court against the issuance of the birth certificate of their child reflecting them as ‘father’ and ‘mother’ instead of writing the gender-neutral term ‘parents’.
A plea has been filed by the petitioners, Zahhad and Ziya Paval who were living together for the last three years and their minor child.
The plea says, “… the Birth Certificate of the 3rd petitioner issued under section12 of the Kerala Registration of Birth and Death Rules 1999 by the Department of Urban Affairs, Kozhikode Corporation is in every respect a violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners. … act of the Kozhikode Corporation is against dicta laid by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) v. Union of India, AIR 2014 SC 1863”
A Single Bench of Justice N. Nagaresh today adjourned the said matter to July 27, 2023, i.e., Thursday. The petition has been filed through Advocate Padma Lakshmi.
As per the petition, the 1st petitioner is a biological woman who identifies as a man, working as an accountant and the 2nd petitioner is a biological man who identifies as a woman, working as a professional dancer. They both have been living together for the last three years and during this period, the first petitioner became pregnant and delivered a baby boy in the month of February this year at the Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode. The said medical college authorities reported the birth of the child born to India’s first transgender couple and issued a birth certificate under Section 12 of the Kerala Registration of Birth and Death Rules, 1999.
In the said birth certificate, the father’s name and mother’s name were recorded based on biological sex and aggrieved by it the petitioners approached the Kozhikode Corporation authorities for the issuance of the birth certificate of their child without showing specifically the name of the father and mother in the certificate, instead, simply writing “Parent”. However, the authorities refused their request and issued a birth certificate of their child with the names of the father and mother recorded in it.
The petition mentions, “… the petitioners made such a request to the Kozhikode Corporation to avoid the name of father and mother on the birth certificate because the biological mother of the child has identified herself as male years ago and is living as male member in the society. Since scientifically there’s some contradiction in the fact that male giving birth to a child, the petitioners requested the authorities to avoid the name of father and mother but simply writing ‘Parent’ to avoid further embarrassment which the third petitioner would have to face during her life time viz. school admission, Adhar Card, PAN Card, Passport and various other documents including job and connected matters.”
The petitioners have avered in the petition that a child can either have two mothers, two fathers, two parents, or a mix of both noted on their birth certificate.
“… issue a writ of mandamus or any appropriate writ, order or direction, directing the 2nd Respondent to pass appropriate orders and to issue a new birth certificate of the 3rd petitioner without showing specifically the name of the petitioners No.1 & No.2 as father and mother respectively, instead mentioning petitioners No.1 & No.2 as “Parents” of their child, the third petitioner in the certificate”, the petitioners pray through the petition.
Cause Title- Zahhad & Ors. v. State of Kerala & Anr. [WP(c) 23763 of 2023]