Post submitted by Eric Cameron, HRC Digital Media Specialist

Beginning November 1, German parents will have the option of selecting “undetermined” instead of “male” or “female” on their children's birth certificates.

Parents will be able to opt out of determining their child’s gender at birth, allowing those born with characteristics of both sexes to choose their own gender labels later in life. The progressive legislation also creates space for those who would prefer to remain outside a gender binary altogether.

Questions remain about how the birth certificate legislation – passed in May– will impact gender designations on German passports and other legal documents. Many of these documents still require a choice between “M” and “F” gender categories. The German family law publication FamRZ has recommended introduction of a third category, “X,” for such documents.

In June, the Australian government announced similar guidelines on gender recognition, stating that individuals should be given the opportunity to select “male,” “female,” or “indeterminate/intersex/unspecified” on their personal documents.

While the United States still has a long way to go in eliminating roadblocks for transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people to properly identify themselves on legal documents, bills such as D.C.’s recently signed Birth Certificate Amendment Act continue to break down some of the legal and financial obstacles at a regional level.

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