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In some long overdue positive news, a transgender couple have revealed their joy at announcing the birth of their daughter.
Jake and Hannah Graf said they “could not be happier or more grateful” about the arrival of their first child.
Jake revealed that the couple's “amazing surrogate” gave birth to their daughter at 5.30am on Tuesday morning, while Hannah wrote that both the surrogate and baby are doing well and that she and Jake are “in love!” with the newborn.
Hannah Graf, who was the highest-ranking transgender officer in the British army, came out as a transgender woman in 2013, while her husband, Jake Graf, who is a television director and actor, transitioned in 2008.
— Jake Graf (@JakeGraf1) April 16, 2020
— Hannah Graf MBE (@hannahw253) April 16, 2020
The transgender activists announced in December that they were expecting their first child via a surrogate.
They explained they used Jake’s eggs, which were frozen before his gender-affirmation surgery.
Jake said he had been on testosterone for six years, but didn’t want to miss out on having kids, so stopped taking it for six months and went to a fertility clinic.
“They said they had no statistics to show how successful it was likely to be,” he told the Mail at the time. “They’d never done anything like it before. But they agreed to try to harvest some eggs.”
— Jake Graf (@JakeGraf1) December 14, 2019
“We are really, really eager to become parents,” Jake said.
However, they also expressed concern the UK’s surrogacy laws might make the process more difficult.
“The law is set up so you can’t put anything into stone prior to the baby being born, so there’s a worry from both sides,” Hannah added. “Intended parents like Jake and I are worried that a potential surrogate could get attached to the baby and not want to give it over.
“Obviously, a huge scare for us. But it’s the same for the surrogate because they don’t want to be left with the child and all the legal responsibility.”
On the process, Jake added: “[It’s] terrifying. All our friends are trying and we can’t try. So we are in this sort of weird space of hoping that some kind stranger, who will hopefully become a friend, will come to us and say ‘I would like to work with you and I would like to help you’.
“It is the ultimate gift, I can’t imagine anything more selfless than wanting to give someone the joy of a child, which is something I’ve wanted for so many years.”
The couple recently appeared on White Wine Question Time to discuss their concerns self-ID could prevent people who change gender from being taken seriously.
“To have my birth certificate in my correct gender meant the world to me,” he told Kate Thornton on the Yahoo UK podcast.
“There’s a school of thought that it’s degrading, that we shouldn't have to have anyone validate us.
“But then there's also a flip side to that, that if we were all able to self-ID then would we be taken seriously?
“I had to go to a councillor to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. When that doctor said ‘yes, you have got gender dysphoria’ it did feel like a huge relief.
“I sat there thinking ‘is he going to believe me?’ and when he did I felt such a relief that all I’d felt throughout my life wasn't me be being crazy or mentally ill.”
Addressing the backlash from feminist groups, Jake said: “As much as I feel we should have the right to self-ID I do feel there will be less belief in us.
“Because people don't get it. People will think, as they do, that there are people who will abuse the system.”
Jake’s wife Hannah said: “I do find it frustrating. One of the difficult things that came out of the Gender Recognition Act reform consultation is that we divided into camps straight away.
“There were a lot of people who said 'we don't like this because of all these reasons and we're going to put out this misinformation and these arguments.'
“And therefore the transgender community said no. And so all of a sudden you've got these two very polarised positions.”
Congratulations to the new family!