Minister Regina Doherty will bring to cabinet next week a report on a review of the gender recognition act. The reviewing body was chaired by the executive director of BeLonG To, Moninne Griffith, and included input from the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy amongst others.
The report recommends that the “legalistic and medical” gender recognition system currently operating should be replaced with an administrative process. This includes lifting current restrictions on those under 16 changing gender, meaning under 16 year-olds would be allowed to register change of gender with the consent of their parents without having to go to court. Courts should only become involved if a parent does not grant consent or if there are concerns about the young person’s mental well being.
If the case does go to court, the review recommends legal ways for a District Court to overrule parental objections in certain cases. A judge would appoint the child a social worker in those cases, but the report states that including “a third party relevant to the issue concerning that particular child would be [in] exceptional circumstances.” In all cases, the review states that “third-party support should be available for the child and the family involved”.
As one source familiar with the report stated, “There is nothing medically wrong with transgender people so there is absolutely no need to involve an endocrinologist, a GP or any kind of medical doctor.” Another stated, “This is only a legal issue. It has nothing to do with endocrinology, medical treatment or surgery — that is not the business of the state. This legislation is just to do with changing your gender and your name on your birth certificate.”
The report also states that if in the future the young person wanted to reverse their decision, there would be a “very straightforward and simple revocation process”.
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