54 men have given birth in Australia in the last year alone, according to figures released by Medicare. A number of people identifying as men have also accessed abortions, the figures revealed. The trend for transsexual men to give birth has been growing ever since the first birth to a ‘father’, American transsexual Thomas Beatie, in 2007, according to the MailOnline.
Medicare in Australia recently decided to allow people to elect their own gender on documents instead of being forced to identify with the sex they were born. The change has revealed a trend for transgender men to keep their female reproductive organs and give birth. Following Beatie’s lead, men in America soon followed suit, with Beatie himself going on to have two more children in the last seven years.
Now the practice has spread to Australia, where 54 men gave birth in the last year. The majority live in Western Australia, where 22 men gave birth, whilst a further 16 live in New South Wales. Seven men from Victoria, six from Queensland, two in South Australia and one man in Tasmania make up the remainder of cases.
59 percent of the men were aged between 24 and 36, although one man in the 55 – 64 age range also gave birth.
The Australian Health Department confirmed the figures, saying: “The department is aware of cases of persons identifying themselves as male having pregnancy related treatment which can be claimed under Medicare. Previously these items could not be paid to male patients.”
Sally Goldman, a spokesman for Transgender Victoria said: “People need to be their true self in relationship to gender identity and gender expression … I’m not really surprised.” Asked whether she thought the trend was set to continue, and the number of fathers giving birth to increase, she said “‘I think it will … people are saying well we’ve got a right for life, so yes it will increase.”
The figures released show that a number of transsexual men also accessed abortion procedures in te last year, although the exact numbers are not clear as the statistic is rolled in under the same code as dilatation and curettage, a minor surgical procedure in which a part of the lining of the cervix is removed for diagnostic purposes.
In 2011, an Israeli transgender man shocked hospital staff by turning up to the emergency room seven months pregnant. Yuval Topper, who was aged 24 at the time, was marred, and had been taking hormone tablets to make his body more masculine. He had had breast removal surgery in the US, but had left his reproductive organs intact. It is not clear how the baby was conceived.
Britain’s first known ‘male mother’ gave birth in 2012. The man, whose identity is unknown, is in his thirties and is believed to have given birth via caesarean section. However, Gedis Grudzinskas, a Harley Street fertility expert, said that other babies may have already been born to men in the UK. “This is the first time someone has stuck his head above the parapet but it wouldn’t surprise me if it has happened before,” he said.
Josephine Quintavalle, of the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “It is a distortion of biology. Whether we like it or not, human biology is for a male and female to produce a child and they are then called Mummy and Daddy.
“If there is one thing that is uniformly agreed about children, it is that they like conformity, they like to be exactly the same as everybody else.”
Former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe agreed, saying: “It is a horrible muddle. What is the child going to think? The key thing is the child, in case anyone forgets that.”