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Neuter Registration Now Possible in Germany

by our Editors in Lifestyle & Fashion , 20 december 2013


In Germany, babies can now have a neuter gender registration since November 1, 2013. This is an important step for new-borns with gender ambiguity. COC Netherlands is of the opinion that the German measure is ‘a step in the right direction,’ but wants to take it one step further by also making it possible for adults who feel they are neither a man nor a woman. So far, the Dutch government's promise to the COC to investigate this possibility has not been kept.

While it has been a possibility in Australia and New-Zealand for some time, Germany now is the first European country that will allow babies born without a clear gender to be registered without specifying whether it is a boy or a girl. On German passports, driver’s licenses and other official documents, the gender specification will no longer only have an M for a man or F for a woman, but can now also remain blank for someone with gender ambiguity.

This measure has to relieve the pressure on parents, who, because of legislative pressure, are forced to make a quick decision on whether or not their new-born has to undergo surgery. In The Netherlands, 1 out of 4,500 babies is born with gender ambiguity. If parents or doctors choose the ‘wrong’ gender, this may cause a lot of stress for the child later on in life. With the possibility to leave the gender registration blank, the German government wants to create a solution for children with gender ambiguity.

In newspaper Metro, COC Netherlands calls this German measure ‘a step in the right direction,’ but  also states that it ‘regrets that parents are now forced to make a decision for their baby, and that adults should be able to choose which gender they want to be registered with’. “We would like to see the X in passports in The Netherlands as quickly as possible, but the choice should be voluntary, not obligatory,” COC spokesman Philip Tijsma says.

Tijsma points out that approximately 20 percent of transgenders in our country – about 10,000 people – indicate that they feel neither a man nor a woman. “Unfortunately for this group, the German measure is not a solution”.

COC Netherlands and the Dutch Transgender Network TNN advocate the possibility of going through life without being registered as either a man or a woman. “State Secretary Fred Teeven has promised he would look into legal options to arrange this, but yet has to take action,” Tijsma says.



 







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