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USA: The pregnant man gave birth to a daughter

When Thomas Beatie's daughter is old enough to see through the tale of the rattle stork, she will begin to ask her parents questions. Thomas Beatie will then be faced with an almost impossible task. How can you explain to a child that his father is also his mother - at least from a biological point of view?

The girl was born in a clinic in the US state of Oregon. For the doctors it is a perfectly normal baby, but the rest of the world regards the baby with a mixture of sensationalism and pity.

She is the child of two women, one of whom underwent testosterone therapy ten years ago to transform her into a man. She had kept her uterus and ovaries and, as it were, reactivated them when it turned out that her partner had become sterile. In November, she introduced semen from a previously unknown donor.


The story almost sounded too bizarre to be true. Many reminded her of the comedy "Junior" (1994). Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a fertility specialist who tests his miracle drug on himself. With success. He gives birth to a daughter for nine months.


But at the latest since Thomas Beatie proudly presented his baby bump to an audience of millions on the TV show of the US talker Oprah Winfrey in April and even allowed himself to be accompanied during the ultrasound examinations, the last doubts disappeared. Since then, he and his wife have been the focus of the tabloid media.

The father-to-be was allowed to publicly complain that there was no maternity wardrobe for men. And because the pregnancy, other than that, had been without complications so far, droves of reporters traveled to the small town of Bend, Oregon, hoping to take a behind-the-scenes look at the couple's relationship, who are publicly known as American Showcase couple staged: He as a home-made nest builder, she as a caring mother hen. Both dressed in T-shirts emblazoned with the provocative slogan: "Define normal."

On a continent where professionally successful single women on the one hand order semen for their children on the Internet and on the other hand have to touch penises from children's books because worried parents could fear for the salvation of their offspring, this is an almost impossible task.

The case is attracting a great deal of attention in England

No wonder then that the public outrage in God's own Country was limited. The case attracted more attention in England. The tabloid "The Daily Mail" took the lead among the critics. She did research in the couple's personal environment. And she concludes that Beatie's daughter is just the ball in a game that is first and foremost about the rights of same-sex couples and secondly about a lot of money. In fact, the Beaties are said to have already sold the exclusive rights to their story to the renowned People Magazine. In September her story will be published as a book by St. Martin's Press, one of the largest American book publishers.

And in fact, the happy ending of the story of the supposed model couple raises questions. Thomas Beatie was born in Hawaii 34 years ago as Tracy Lagondino. As a teenager, she discovered that she was attracted to women. She falls in love with Nancy, ten years her senior, who already has two grown daughters from a previous marriage.

Their relationship encounters resistance in the personal environment. This makes the two committed fighters for lesbian and gay rights. You are involved in the movement that fought for recognition of so-called gay marriage in Hawaii in the 1990s. Vain.

In 1998 the legislature passed a law preventing same-sex marriages. It's the year Tracy Lagondino brings herself to have her breasts amputated and undergo testosterone therapy. This is how Tracy becomes Thomas, a transsexual man.

German law prevents pregnant men

The fact that he keeps his uterus and ovaries is not unusual in the eyes of the psychologist Sophinette Becker. She says: "The hormones make women so masculine that they prefer to forego this operation - even if they have to pay a high price for it." According to the Transsexual Act, the civil status is only changed in this country if someone is divorced and sterile. "In this way, the legislature wanted to prevent cases like that of the pregnant Thomas Beatie," says Becker.

The psychologist specializes in counseling transsexuals, and has been practicing in the sexual medicine outpatient clinic at the University Hospital in Frankfurt for 20 years. Becker says that the concept of gender almost disappeared during this time. "There are now even women who have already been pregnant - and who still want to become a man."

However, even she finds it unusual for a transsexual man to suspend testosterone therapy to carry a child to term. Becker says the hormonal changes during pregnancy are huge. The pregnancy will probably not have gone as smoothly as Beatie had assured Oprah Winfrey. At least emotionally, it must have been a roller coaster ride for him. "I doubt whether he can actually remain a man for himself."

The new father is therefore no good as evidence incarnate for the thesis that female and male role models are no longer valid. For the internationally renowned reproductive medicine and men’s expert Prof. Dr. Eberhard Nieschlag is Thomas Beatie simply a "woman with an intersex problem."

An isolated case? In this form, I guess. However, Sophinette Becker sees clear parallels to a phenomenon in Iran. The psychologist explains that men are queuing up there these days to undergo surgery to become women. In contrast to homosexuality, transsexuality is accepted in this country because it does not question patriarchy. Which probably explains why so many men suddenly discovered their feminine side. "The transsexuals are really homosexuals who have given up."