Ruling on transsexual paternity

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A man who was born a woman will learn today whether he has won legal recognition as the father of his partner's baby. The anonymous transsexual has claimed a breach of his human rights because English law does not allow him to be registered as the child's father. Now the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will rule in a test case which could mark another breakthrough for individuals who opt to switch genders.

The transsexual, known only as X, has been living, since 1979, in what the court describes as a "permanent and stable" relationship with a woman, known as Y. In 1992 the woman had a baby by donor insemination. But the sex-change man's attempts to be registered as the child's father, or to adopt it, have been rejected.

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