Proposal would bring transgender recognition at 16

Cabinet to discuss law which will allow transgender people have status recognised by State for all purposes

Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan:   she and  the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Children recommended that the minimum age for recognition should be lowered from 18 to 16.   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan: she and the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Children recommended that the minimum age for recognition should be lowered from 18 to 16. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Transgender people will be allowed to apply for legal recognition of their acquired gender from the earlier age of 16, under proposals Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton will bring to Government tomorrow.

Last summer Ms Burton published the draft heads of the Gender Recognition Bill which will allow transgender people to have their status recognised by the State for all purposes – including the right to marry or enter a civil partnership in the acquired gender.

After the issuing of a gender recognition certificate by the Department of Social Protection, the transgender person will be able to apply for a new birth certificate that recognises his or her acquired gender.

The person has also right to have a birth certificate that recognises his or her acquired gender. This will be done through the issuing of a gender recognition certificate by the Department of Social Protection. The transgender person will then be able to apply for a new birth certificate. However, the original draft legislation recognised those rights for people over the age of 18.

The Bill was then referred to the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Children. Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan also made a submission. Both the committee and Ms Logan recommended that the minimum age for recognition should be lowered from 18 to 16.

The ombudsman’s office argued that the law as it currently stands allows people of 16 or older to consent to medical procedures. If the proposed law did not change its age limits, it would have given rise to a situation where an individual could have a medical transition at age 16 or 17 but not have their acquired gender recognised by the State until the age of 18.

Accordingly, the Government has lowered the age by two years but with the important rider that there is still a requirement for parental consent for persons under 18 (aged 16 or 17).