Reproducing the Intersections of Inclusion and Exclusion: Exploring Gender Recognition Laws, Reproductive Technology, and the Children’s Act in Denmark


  • Stu Marvel Emory University, USA



This paper explores a November 2017 ruling from a Copenhagen appellate court, which involved a transgender man, his cisgender female partner, and their child conceived through third-party donor conception. In mapping the inclusions and exclusions performed by multiple domains of law, this paper applies an intersectional heuristic to track the state reproduction of reproductive norms. Although the plaintiff, a Korean adoptee, had legally changed his gender identity from female to male by the time the child was born, the case arose when he sought recognition of his fatherhood - not motherhood - for his mixed-race child. Intersectional analysis offers a powerful tool to map the dense cluster of Danish law at work in this case, as an institutional matrix that simultaneously recognized self-elected gender identity; denied socially gendered parenthood; and failed to register claims to inter-generational racial affiliation within cross-cutting legal architectures.

Keywords: assisted reproductive technology, transgender rights, structural intersectionality, legal parentage, Critical Race Theory.