A Finnish woman who underwent hormonal therapy to become the nation’s first transgender man has given birth, triggering controversy as laws require infertility to change gender.
“The baby weighed nearly four kilogrammes and was 53 centimetres in length (at birth),” the transgender man, whose name was withheld for private reasons, told Finnish news outlet Lannen Media a fortnight after the birth.
The man, who’s in his 30s, legally changed his gender from a woman in 2015 after years of testosterone therapy.
But he decided to cancel sex change surgery, to complete his male physical transition, before trying to get pregnant with his husband.
Under Finnish law for hormonal therapy, a person is required to prove they are “infertile” in order to change legal gender from female to male.
In practice, Finnish medical units deem their transgender patients infertile when testosterone therapy has continued for a prolonged period.
But fertility can sometimes return if hormonal therapy is put on hold.
This case is exceptional because the couple, living in the Helsinki region, decided to suspend hormonal treatment and the man’s period returned.
“Do I want the society to dictate what I can do with my body and my life? Nothing can stop me. I’m a free man,” the man recalled in an earlier interview with Finland’s largest daily Helsingin Sanomat while still pregnant.
Finland is the only remaining Nordic country to require infertility from its citizens who want to change their legal gender, prompting sharp criticism from human rights organisations in recent years.
The man was granted paternal leave.