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Another trans thing - the changing of birth certificates...

(66 Posts)
MacaroonMama Sat 06-Jan-18 21:09:53

Hello All,
I think I have only just realised that along with a GRC comes a new birth certificate in the 'acquired [sex/gender/whatever they think is correct]'. Is that right? Has that been the case since 2004?
It just bothered me a bit because I thought that a birth certificate is a legal document, and, really changing the sex of the baby is telling a lie, isn't it?
The usual caveat here of: I have much sympathy for those with gender dysphoria and cannot imagine it - I totally understand why this is given to them, so that other documents reliant on a birth certificate are able to be obtained, but it sits very oddly with me. Like forging documents.
I have just spoken to my cousin who adopted a little one last year, and she said that when the adoption was completed, they got a new long birth certificate for their new child, in which she and her husband were named as the parents. So again, amendments made. But she wasn't sure what happened to the original, she thought perhaps it is kept but sealed?
Not really sure why I am asking really. I know those with a GRC are those with gender dysphoria, which must be such a difficult condition to struggle with, so I would never want to make life any more difficult. It just feels strange.
Will those who self-ID be able to get a new birth certificate? Because then we will not have an accurate picture of the past, will we?
Sorry - just musing while waiting for the Scottish consultation doc to load! Any and all thoughts welcome. And wine to share of course xx

BelaLugosisShed Sat 06-Jan-18 21:21:52

It isn’t automatic, they have to apply for a new BC, I’ve not been able to find figures on what % of people with a GRC do it.
It’s one of the things that enrages/upsets me the most, erasing your birth records would be impossible in just about every other circumstance, I imagine.

MacaroonMama Sat 06-Jan-18 21:29:37

Ah thank you Bela so it is not automatic. I do wonder what the process will be if all the self-ID crap goes through...

nauticant Sat 06-Jan-18 21:40:45

When the concept of new birth certificates in the "new gender" (ie "new" sex) was first announced, I remember thinking "this is not a good idea". In the legal world many untrue things are made "true" by legal decree, so-called legal fictions, but when it came to biology I thought a line had been crossed. I still think this.

As ever, the lie involves a change of gender being interchangeable with a change of sex. Let people go wherever they want with gender so long as it's made crystal clear that sex stays as it is.

HeatedCatFurniture Sat 06-Jan-18 22:09:22

This was one of the things that made me go, Okay but hold on.... ten years ago. And now makes me realise that the kool aid isn't that new a thing after all.

It all comes down to the "born in the wrong body" narrative, for which there is still no shred of decent evidence.

FloraFox Sat 06-Jan-18 22:24:32

I think that original willingness to tell a lie on an official document has led to the problems we are having today. At that time, I believe the general consensus was that we know this isn't actually true but we're willing to pretend it is because someone would need to be very desperate if they are willing to go through those surgeries - where were pretty much essential to get a GRC. The TRAs have grasped on the validation given by the GRA to the lie that that "transwomen are women" are it's not impossible to contain that or to say "we actually we didn't ever believe it was literally true".

I'm coming to the view that I think the GRA should be repealed. There can be legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of trans status in employment, housing etc. but TIMs should not be treated as women for any legal purpose.

OhGodWhatTheHellNow Sun 07-Jan-18 00:01:26

There is a precedent where you can change the surnames on birth certificates, when the parents marry after the baby is registered (some sort of reverse legitimacy? I think it has some connection to inheritance...). I think the whole concept of rewriting a legal / historical document shocking, but apparently I am in the minority as there have been previous threads suggesting it was commonplace to do this.

Stickystickstick Sun 07-Jan-18 00:20:49

I was wondering similar. I understand that the person’s sex becomes their ‘legal sex’ but that cannot alter their biological sex. I likened it to a limited company being a legal person but they don’t become a biological person.

What I don’t understand (and I’m sure it’s my laziness) is how these new issue birth certificates exist with the original. Are there records of the original kept or does the previous existence just cease to have existed? I’m not sure I’m articulating clearly so i’ll Try with a shit analogy

If Peter becomes Petra and has their legal sex changed on the document, does Peter then cease to have existed? Are there any records still of Peters birth certificate having existed? Eg if all boys born in 1975 have a terrible symptomless but terminal disease and need to be identified to administer the cure but Peter’s certificate now says Petra, would anyone be able to identify and contact Petra as potentially having the 1975 disease or would she be wandering around not knowing about it because she’s registered now as having been Petra from birth?

yorkshireyummymummy Sun 07-Jan-18 00:35:34

I still don’t understand how a birth certificate can be changed.
Surely the clue is in the name- BIRTH certificate.
I do think that a trans person should be able to add an addendum to state that their gender has changed and their new name is ...Mr/ miss namechange.
But it screws up the truth.
Elton Johns birth certificate doesn’t say Elton. It will say what his name was at birth. But legally, on his passport he is Elton John because he changed his name by deed poll.
So when you change your gender it should be the same. Because you CANNOT change your sex. It’s a fact. If a scientist chose to dig up a trans persons body in 100 yrs time and they were asked what sex this person was they would be able to tell. Just because you identify as a man or woman does not change your XX/XY.chromosones. It can’t be done.
India Willouby may have changed his gender but he still walks/ talks like ( tone and words used) a man, acts like a man, etc.
There’s been some great threads on here over the last few days which I have learned loads from.
But ultimately, you can change gender , not sex and the government and other bodies should stop telling us different and making people scared to state a medical fact as they are a nervous of being accused of being genderist/ transist ( think they are suitable terms)
So Op, I’m with you. I don’t understand how you can change a legal document and alter the past with an untruth. It’s going to make things very difficult in the future when people want to do their family 🌲 isn’t it!!

Redonionricedpotato Sun 07-Jan-18 07:51:55

I also find it sinister. The idea say that my son could get his birth certificate changed one day to say that on 2 Oct 2010 I gave birth to a girl. It’s falsifying a legal and historical document.

QueenLaBeefah Sun 07-Jan-18 07:59:57

I never agreed with the changing of the birth certificate. It is a falsehood.

PencilsInSpace Sun 07-Jan-18 08:51:19

Yes this is the whole point of a GRC. I can't imagine there are many people who get a GRC and then DON'T apply for a new birth certificate. And yes this will also apply to self-ID.

The original aim was to allow people to marry as their chosen gender but this is obsolete now we have equal marriage.

Nobody's allowed to ask to see a trans person's GRC, not even the prison service, but they are allowed to ask for a birth certificate.

It's worth noting that ALL other documents can be changed without a GRC, including passports. You can change the sex on your passport with a deedpoll and a letter from a doctor saying your change of gender is likely to be permanent.

PencilsInSpace Sun 07-Jan-18 09:14:06

What I don’t understand (and I’m sure it’s my laziness) is how these new issue birth certificates exist with the original. Are there records of the original kept or does the previous existence just cease to have existed?

The original still exists but a marker is put on the register and the new details are entered on the Gender Recognition Register. A new birth certificate is then issued from the GRR.

See section 7.3 of the general guidance and explanatory notes to section 10 of the GRA.

MaidOfStars Sun 07-Jan-18 10:48:13

The GRC/BC is a particular bug bear of mine. The wording surrounding ‘gender’ in this situation is fairly tricky and could do with revision.

Your BC registers sex, not gender. However, one legally acquires a gender depending on this entry. So your BC is evidence of both your birth sex and, consequently, your legal gender.

This situation, where legal gender is contingent on the sex entry on your BC, creates a situation where changing sex on your BC is not simply a ‘nicety’ but a mechanism underpinning legal gender change.

This is, I think, an anachronistic result of cobbling together legislation without aforethought.

The GRC should be enough to confer legality of acquired gender without reference to other documents. I’d argue it should supercede any earlier acquisitions of gender, such as that dictated by the sex box on your BC, although how you could prevent people flipping between a GRC and BC, I don’t know.

A deed poll is all you need to support legal name change. A marriage certificate does the same. I’m not very knowledgeable about adoption records but I think AC would replicate/supercede but not replace BC?Why a GRC, uniquely, allows you to change your BC is bonkers.

MaidOfStars Sun 07-Jan-18 10:55:21

The link between GRC and BC formed part of my MP Letter (TM).

Perhaps everyone should have a GRC after affirming identity at adulthood?

Sevendown Sun 07-Jan-18 10:56:26

If bcs are changed we won’t be able to track the sex ratios at birth.

PencilsInSpace Sun 07-Jan-18 11:10:46

Technically it does supersede the original birth certificate, MaidOfStars:

Paragraph 3 ensures that the issue of a gender recognition certificate obliges the Registrar General to make an entry in the GRR and to mark the original entry referring to the birth (or adoption) of the transsexual person to show that the original entry has been superseded. (from the link to the GRA I posted above)

I don't know how adoption works - do you have the original birth certificate and an adoption certificate that supersedes it?

In the case of GRC the original birth certificate is superseded by a new birth certificate.

MaidOfStars Sun 07-Jan-18 11:23:06

So the origI am BC is retained on record unaltered? And if one were to have either old or be BC, there would be a recorded link to the other?

MaidOfStars Sun 07-Jan-18 11:23:37

old or new

EvilCleverDog Sun 07-Jan-18 11:27:19

How does this work in terms of crime?

If a Mttf murderer leaves male dna, but has a birth cert stating female, how will the police convict them if the original BC is destroyed. Are police even allowed to question gender?

stitchglitched Sun 07-Jan-18 11:27:21

What happens to other documents? For example if a man transitions and changes his birth cerificate to a woman what happens to his marriage certificate or the birth cert of his children where he is named as the father? Are these still valid?

Fineganbeginagain Sun 07-Jan-18 11:35:06

I had no idea this happened!

MaidOfStars Sun 07-Jan-18 11:45:21

Crime: the DNA left on the corpse matches the DNA of this individual, with no reference to sex or gender. I don’t see a problem here. I can foresee an issue with identifying suspects though, especially when using databases.

PencilsInSpace Sun 07-Jan-18 11:51:40

As I understand it, the original record remains in the birth register and a marker is added to indicate it has been superseded by an entry in the GRR.

If you are married you can get a full GRC if your spouse consents, if not you can get an interim GRC which allows you or your spouse to end the marriage, after which you can apply for a full GRC. If you're in a civil partnership you can't get a full GRC without ending the CP, unless both partners apply for a GRC together. I don't think you can change the details on a marriage certificate.

Birth certificates of children are not changed.

Both marriage and children's birth certificates are still valid though, just as they would be if you subsequently changed your name.

BelaLugosisShed Sun 07-Jan-18 11:53:06

It got me wondering about a childs BC too stitchglitched, I know a TIM in Germany had his case for being named as Mother on his child’s BC thrown out of court.
The whole thing is state sponsored gaslighting.
I know someone on the sex offenders register cannot have the sex on their criminal record changed.
The facts and figures on GRC up unti 2015 are here -
I wonder if you could get stats on new birth certificates under FOI act?

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