26 September 2023

Birth certificates updated

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Legislation to modernise Queensland’s birth certificates to better recognise the State’s diverse community has been developed by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

According to the Department the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill 2022 will ensure registration services remain relevant, responsive and contemporary.

It said that under the new legislation, trans and gender-diverse people will no longer be required to undergo sexual reassignment surgery to formally register a change of sex.

Attorney-General, Shannon Fentiman said the current Act unnecessarily medicalised the recognition of a person’s lived identity.

“In addition, surgery is not always appropriate for trans people, and can be inaccessible and unaffordable as it is not covered by Medicare,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This is about making sure that a person’s legal identity matches their lived identity, and will bring Queensland into line with most other jurisdictions.”

She said the Bill established two pathways to alter the record of sex of a child aged under 16, namely by parents or a guardian applying directly to the Registrar where particular criteria were met, or through the Children’s Court.

“A key element of both of these pathways involves an assessment of the child by a developmentally-informed practitioner who has an established, professional relationship with them,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The new legislation will also allow both parents to be registered as either ‘mother’ or ‘father’, which currently is not the case.

She said a birth certificate had deep social and emotional resonance for people.

“The Bill will ensure that same-sex and gender diverse parents are able to record a descriptor on their child’s birth certificate that correctly reflects their parenting role,” the Minister said.

Consultation during the Department’s drafting of the Bill was largely informed by roundtable discussions with key stakeholders from advocacy, legal and health organisations.

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