Thursday, February 2, 2017

Victory: Delaware becomes the 14th state to modernize birth certificate gender change requirements!

Effective February 11th, people born in Delaware can now receive new birth certificates with an updated gender marker without unnecessary and outdated requirements of a court order or proof of surgery. Delaware joins 13 other states plus the District of Columbia who have updated their policies to ensure transgender people have access to accurate birth certificates.

Under Delaware’s new regulations, an applicant can receive an update birth certificate once they provide an affidavit from a medical or mental health professional that they have had surgical, hormonal, psychological, or other treatment appropriate for the purpose of gender transition, or that they have an intersex condition. With that affidavit the Registrar will issue a new certificate of birth with the proper gender marker, and an updated name if applicable.

Access to updated identity documents is an important issue for many transgender people.  According to the 2015 US Transgender Survey, nearly one-third (32%) of transgender people who show an ID with a name or gender that does not match their gender presentation were verbally harassed, denied benefits or service, asked to leave, or assaulted. And more than two-thirds (68%) of trans people reported that none of their IDs had the name and gender they preferred, many indicating that they could not afford an updated ID, they did not know how, or they believed they were not allowed. For these reasons NCTE works hard to modernize gender change policies across the country to ensure everyone has access to an accurate ID.

We congratulate the Delaware Division of Public Health and our colleagues at Equality Delaware and the ACLU of Delaware for their fantastic work on this new policy. For more information about the policies in your state, visit the ID Documents Center.

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