Swedish legislation on trans parenthood: Genesis and peculiarities of a European première

Sweden has attracted international attention for its 2018 legislative provisions on trans parenthood. This legislation provides that a trans man who gives birth in Sweden is registered as his child’s father, unlike in most jurisdictions worldwide. This paper offers the first sustained engagement with the genesis and the peculiarities of the revised Swedish Parental Code. Apart from emphasizing its uniqueness, it reflects upon three critical aspects of the current regulation: the differential treatment afforded to trans parents in comparison to cis parents; the forced disclosure of sensitive information to government officials it entails for trans parents; and, the ad hoc and gender-specific nature of the new provisions. To conclude, the paper sheds light on the inevitable difficulties a legal system faces when trying to adapt gender-binary, cis- and heteronormative provisions on parenthood to a diversity of families without challenging the inherent norms of the legislation.