May 6, 2021
The legislative amendment to the Transgender Act was submitted by the legal protection minister and emancipation minister to the Lower House of Parliament. “Persons whose gender identity does not correspond to the sex determined at birth can, under certain conditions, change their gender in the birth certificate,” a release published on the website of the Dutch government says.
According to the statement, more people want to change their gender registration, with the numbers rising from 460 in 2016 to 640 in 2018. The amendment was put forward in order “to do justice to the emancipation of transgender people.”
The ministers suggest scrapping the requirement for an expert statement in which a doctor or psychologist establishes the fact of a lasting conviction of belonging to the opposite sex. The statement says transgender groups consider this requirement to be a violation of the right of individuals to self-determination. The simplified procedure would involve written submission of the desire to change gender registration, and confirmation four to 12 weeks later.
The proposed legislation would also scrap the age limit, so that children under the age of 16 can change their gender registration. This is being done as a nod to transgender groups and parents who say that some young people already live with a gender other than that designated at birth before they reach 16. In order to change their gender registration, children would have to submit a request to the court.
The legislation would also allow changes in registration to be done at the place of current residence, rather than the place of birth.
The bill will have to be approved by both houses of the Dutch Parliament and then signed into law by the head of state.
The procedures for changing gender on birth certificates were introduced in 2014 with the Transgender Act. The legislation also abolished the requirement for people to undergo surgery, including sterilization, to legally change their gender.
Last December, the Dutch government agreed to pay compensation of €5,000 to about 2,000 trans people who were sterilized between 1985 and 2014 in order to change gender.
The Dutch government states that it is committed to improving the position of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people worldwide. The Netherlands has some of the most progressive laws regarding LGBTI rights in the world.