September 21, 2017
Provincial Government Moving Forward with Gender Neutral Birth Certificates
Tomorrow, the Provincial Government will formally state its intent in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador to introduce legislation which will allow for a change of sex designation on a birth certificate from female or male to non-binary.
Along with changing the policy to allow for individuals to choose an ‘X’ on their birth certificate, the requirement to submit a statement from a medical professional prior to a change in sex designation for those 16 years of age and older will also be removed. Children aged 12-15 will still require a parent to apply on their behalf, and consent of the child is also required.
The required amendments will be made to the Vital Statistics Act, 2009 in the upcoming fall session of the House of Assembly.
An application was filed in Supreme Court in June, 2017 by Gemma Hickey of St. John’s which challenged the Act under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Information pertaining to the sex of an individual will continue to be collected at birth after the amendments to the Act have been made in an effort to maintain vital data that is valuable for a population. Personal health service decisions and gender aggregated data is important for informing government policy and programs such as those related to medications or treatments that differ for each sex.
Application forms for gender neutral birth certificates must be notarized by a notary public and certificates are subject to a $35 fee.
“Our government believes in equality for everyone. It is important that we remain progressive and continue to empower people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. Non-binary birth certificates are an important part of our efforts. We appreciate Gemma Hickey’s advocacy and I look forward to introducing these amendments into the House of Assembly.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL
“I am so proud that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will be introducing this historic legislation and will soon be issuing birth certificates that reflect non-binary status. Having official documents that display how I identify is of great importance to me and many other non-binary Canadians. It ensures that non-binary people are not erased from society and reaffirms what experts have already confirmed: that there are more than two genders.”
Gemma M. Hickey
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Changing Your Sex Designation -
2017 09 21 5:10 p.m.