Proposed changes to Queensland birth certificates could mean parents don’t have to declare their child’s gender on the document.
The new proposals also mean the terms 'mother' and 'father' would be optional and would also allow people to change their gender every year.
Parents would be allowed to choose ‘any descriptor’ for their child’s gender, as long as it wasn’t obscene or contained offensive language.
Reporting on the proposals, Sky News notes that a spokesperson for the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General said the changes would ‘improve recognition for trans and gender diverse people’.
Aside from not containing offensive language, chosen descriptors for babies’ gender mustn’t contain offensive symbols, numbers, be too long or ‘contrary to the public interest’.
However, not everyone is thrilled about the proposals, and according to Sky, there were mixed feelings at recent women’s group meetings during which the government’s intent to remove sex from birth certificates was discussed.
Kelly Carr, an International Women’s Day Brisbane Meanjin representative, said the proposal had ‘shocked’ her.
“As a mother, when I heard that using mother on the birth certificate was optional, I nearly fell off my chair,” Carr explained.
Attendees at women’s group meetings said new proposals would mean anyone younger than 16 could self-identify as another gender as long as they had a good faith statement, which could be supplied by anyone as long as they’ve known them for a minimum of 12 months.
Anyone aged between 12 and 16 could also change their gender identity as long as they have support from at least one of their parents, although a child development practitioner may also be required to present evidence to a court.
Currently, Queensland and NSW are the only Australian states that require someone wanting to officially change their gender to have undergone surgery.
A Department of Justice and Attorney-General spokesman said that the removal of the terms 'mother' and 'father' from birth certificates wasn’t being proposed, rather people would be able to fill out ‘additional options’.
They explained: “Consideration is being given to additional options to allow same sex couples to register as mother/mother or father/father, if they choose to.”
The spokesperson also said the move would ‘align Queensland with other jurisdictions’.
UNILAD has approached the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General for comment.
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