Big change coming to birth certificates

Big change coming to birth certificates

Major changes to birth certificates, which would better recognise trans and gender diverse people, could be up for debate before Queensland parliament later this year.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman had earlier flagged legislative reforms to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act after outcry from LGBT activists.

One of these included potentially removing the requirement for a person to undergo sex reassignment surgery to change the sex listed on their birth certificate.

At a Budget Estimates hearing on Wednesday, Ms Fentiman confirmed an exposure draft of the Bill had been completed.

She told the hearing the review of the Act was to make sure the state’s registration services remained “relevant”, The Courier Mailreports.

“That includes the consideration of arrangements which will allow trans and gender diverse people to have their gender identity accurately reflected in a birth certificate,” Ms Fentiman said.

“I do acknowledge this is such an important issue to many Queenslanders.

“Consideration has been given to reforms that have happened in other states and the reforms as considered will bring Queensland into line with pretty much every other jurisdiction.”

The development comes after a petition addressed to Ms Fentiman last year called for the Queensland State Government to better recognise LGBT+ people within the BDMR Act.

“Queensland residents draw to the attention of the House that the current legislation is the weakest in the country for recognition of trans and gender diverse people, and should be updated,” the petition, which gathered more than 10,800 signatures, reads.

“To include people of a third or non-binary gender, birth certificates should at least have an additional ‘X’ option.

“The limit of one name change per year can also be a roadblock for trans people, and should be increased or given exceptions for name changes with reason of gender affirmation.”

Besides Queensland, NSW is the only other state which requires people to have undergone surgery to change their birth certificate gender.

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