CITIZEN VOICES®
Eliminate sex change requirement for birth certificate change?

Mar 22, 2019

This week, the New Hampshire House passed a bill that eases the requirements for changing the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.

Currently in New Hampshire, it is only possible to change the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate with a court order certifying that the individual has undergone a sex change operation. A bill sponsored by Rep. Gerri Cannon, HB 446, would instead allow the sex on a birth certificate to be changed if someone presents a notarized certificate from their health care provider attesting to their gender. The bill also allows someone to designate their sex as “neither male nor female”. 

Learn more about gay and transgender issues in New Hampshire 

How it works

Under the bill, a person wishing to change the sex on their birth certificate would need a certificate from their doctor, psychologist, nurse practitioner, social worker or mental health counselor stating that their sex is male, female, or neither and can be expected to continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

That document would be submitted to a town or city clerk, who then forwards it to the state registrar. Once a new birth certificate is issued, the old certificate remains part of the permanent record with a note indicating how and why it was updated. 

Pro and con arguments

Supporters of the effort note that not all transgender people wish to undergo a risky and expensive sex change operation. They argue that allowing birth certificates to be changed will help protect transgender individuals from the harassment or violence they may risk when presenting documents that do not match their apparent gender. They also note that birth certificates are already revised for a variety of other reasons such as a legal name change or adoption. 

Opponents argue the change is a threat to the integrity of vital records, which need to be accurate in the event of a health or public safety issue. Others suggested that perhaps an alternative document affirming a person’s gender identity could be issued, while the birth certificate remained unchanged. They maintain that birth certificates are intended to record a person’s sex as it is biologically determined at birth, not their gender identity. 

Should NH eliminate the requirement that a person have undergone sex reassignment surgery in order to change the sex listed on their birth certificate?

Comments

Robert Peraino
- franconia

Sun, 03/31/2019 - 8:24pm

Transgender surgery and the dangerous drugs (shorten life expectancy and forbode serious chronic health problems) used to change physical appearance do not change the sex chromosomes - XX for female and XY for male. So, you may look like the opposite sex, but that is a chromosome and DNA delusion. The desire to change one's gender is a mental illness and should be treated as such.

Susan Rogers
- Alton Bay

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 7:25pm

NO. Sex on the birth certificate is decided by the genitalia that the infant presents with, and the designation of which gender (male or female) that a person is, on any official document, should always correspond with the genitalia that they possess.

Joel Moran
- NewBoston

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 6:59pm

No NH has to stop trying to given in to the .1% of the population!

Terry Cox
- Webster

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 6:33pm

NO. Towns must put the birth sex on the document. Ok to allow, with a fee, an ADDITION of another sex/gender.

Mark Lord
- Raymond

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 6:27pm

No what the hell is the coroner going to say ! it’s an other? There are reasons why men and women are different mainly for identification

Related Bill

HB 446 (2019)
Bill Status: Passed House
Hearing date: Apr 02, 2019

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