Thursday, 18 August 2016 14:28

Birth certificates to reflect new identity – Commission welcomes new Bill

The Commission welcomes the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 to be introduced in Parliament today which removes the need for applicants to have undergone sex affirmation surgery before being able to apply for a new birth certificate.

 This is an important step toward removing barriers for trans, gender diverse and intersex Victorians seeking new birth certificates.

The government says the Bill will ensure that transgender, gender diverse or intersex people will no longer have to divorce or undergo sex-change surgery if they want a new birth certificate.

Adults will be able to apply to alter the sex recorded on their Victorian birth registration and birth certificate.

Under the changes, an applicant will be able to nominate the sex descriptor in their birth registration as male, female or specify a gender diverse or non-binary descriptor.

The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages will be able to refuse to register an amendment descriptor that is obscene or offensive, or if it is not reasonably established as a sex descriptor.

The government says the Bill will also introduce a new process enabling parents or a guardian to apply to alter the sex recorded on their child's birth registration.

The process will require the child's consent. The application must be accompanied by a supporting statement from a doctor or registered psychologist confirming the child has capacity to consent, and that the change is in the best interests of the child. Children over the age of 16 will be assumed to have capacity to consent.

We know that people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) community continue to face discrimination in many areas of life, and this Bill marks an important change by ensuring that a person will no longer have to divorce their partner because they have changed their gender identity.

No person should be subjected to unjust discrimination and stigma because of their gender or sexuality.

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