Country Adds Third Gender Option to Birth Certificates

by William White | August 23, 2013 1:03 pm

NewLetters[1]Germany is allowing parents that have children born without a clear gender[2] to classify them as “other” starting Nov. 1.

The change to allow parents to not classify their child as male or female is meant to protect intersex babies. Government figures from 2007 show that there are at least 150 intersex babies born ever year in the country. The figures also state that 8,000 to 10,000 people have “serious variations” that make them different when compared to male and female genders. Currently parents with intersex babies are forced to decide what the child gender will be almost immediately. The operations that take place to make a child a certain gender aren’t always safe and can be scarring. The German government says that this doesn’t mean there is a third gender in the country. The government claims that adding a third gender would complicate the country’s laws on marriages and partnerships, reports Reuters.

Some don’t think the new law does enough.

“Unnecessary surgeries will likely continue in Germany with devastating consequences… we live in a world where having a baby classified as ‘other’ is still considered undesirable,” Silvan Agius, policy director at Equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe, told Reuters.

Australian citizens have been allowed to list their gender as intermediate since 2011[3]. The intermediate gender shows up as “X” on passports.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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