Choosing Your Gender on Birth Certificate

Ellie Schroeder, Reporter

On New Year’s Day, a new law went into effect in New York City. Residents now have the ability to choose the gender written on their birth certificates. This allows individuals who identify as transgender or non-binary to appropriately express their identity.

Before this law was passed, residents were required to have a healthcare provider’s signature. Prior to that, people were only allowed birth certificate amendments if they had undergone gender reassignment surgery. Now without a doctor’s note, those over 18 (and some minors with parental consent)  may arrange to have “M”, “F”, or “X” printed on their birth certificates, says CNN. Advocates are now pushing for this option to be available on driver’s licenses.

So far, including New York, four states have the gender-neutral marker option for birth certificates: California, Oregon, and Washington. New Jersey is prepared to enact this law as well, starting in February. Also, seven states/jurisdictions now have gender-neutral markers for drivers’ licenses: Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington D.C., and California, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s ID Documents Center.

As a society, this makes us wonder- will this law spread to other states? Perhaps this issue is similar to those such as gay marriage or legalizing marijuana. Needless to say, future parents will have new decisions to make compared to those of past generations.