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Why Gender Could Be Dropped From Birth Certificates

The stripping of "male" or "female" on a child’s birth certificate is one of a handful of proposed changes put forward as part of a review of WA's gender reassignment laws.

The proposal was part of a discussion paper by WA’s Law Reform Commission which was approached by the WA government to look at ways of modernising current legislation, Perthnow reported.

While the proposed recommendation would omit the baby’s sex from their birth certificate, it would still be held by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Other changes proposed by the commission include:

- Dropping the requirement for someone to undergo a medical procedure to have their gender identity officially recognised, instead a 'Proof of Gender' or 'Proof of Sex' certificate would be created, allowing people to apply to the registrar.

- Categories on these particular certificates would be "male", "female" and "non-binary".

- An individual can make up to three applications to change their gender in a lifetime before having to seek the approval of the court.

- Minors from the age of 12 would have the power to formally change their gender. If they don’t have permission of both parents, they can have it decided by the Family Court.

Commission chairman and barrister Dr David Cox said the commission couldn’t think of any legal reason for a sex classification to be included on birth certificates.

“For the vast majority of the population it's not going to make one iota of difference ... it's not going to affect the fabric of government, it's not going to affect the fabric of society, it's not doing anything really but it's going to make life a lot easier for a small group of people. Is that a problem?” he said.

Those interested in making a submission are urged to do so by emailing lrcwa@justice.wa.gov.au before the cut-off date of October 19. Attorney-General John Quigley said that any reforms would be guided by the recommendations of the commission’s final report.

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