Children over the age of 12 are allowed to change their sex on their birth certificate without parental consent under new law in Queensland
Children as young as 12 can change their sex on their birth certificate without parental consent, under new laws passed in Queensland on Wednesday.
The laws passed on Wednesday make it easier for people to have their gender documented without undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
In addition to a gender change, a name change can also take place.
The laws have two ways to change the genealogy of a child under 16 – through the children’s court, or with an application to the registry by a parent or guardian when certain criteria are met.
It means there is now an option for children aged 12 to 16 to change their gender on their birth certificate without parental consent.
However, to do this, the child must first be assessed by a developmental professional.
Children as young as 12 can change their gender on their birth certificate without parental consent under new laws passed in Queensland on Wednesday (stock photo)
The new laws also allow a child to have two registered fathers or mothers on the birth certificate. As it stands, only one person can be registered as the mother or father of a child.
The bill replaces the existing Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act and provides greater freedom over chosen gender descriptors, including non-binary recognition.
The LNP opposed the laws, arguing that a bill allowing self-declaration threatens women’s privacy in women-only areas such as toilets and locker rooms and would negatively impact women’s sport.
“This bill is an attack on women, it is an attack on women’s rights and it is an attack on young girls,” deputy LNP leader Jarrod Bleijie told parliament.
Opposition MPs also expressed concern about children under 16 who may be applying to change the gender on their birth certificates.
Attorney General Yvette D’Ath said the bill provides proper safeguards and “does not allow a young person to just take an arbitrary decision and make these changes without proper oversight.”
Health Secretary Shannon Fentiman, who introduced the bill last year as attorney general, said concerns about women’s safety were unfounded.
“Despite repeated claims to the contrary, there is no evidence from any jurisdiction that women will have fewer rights or be less safe,” she told parliament.
The legislation also aims to better recognize the modern family structure, allowing same-sex couples to register as mother/mother or father/father for the first time.
The changes have been welcomed by groups representing LGBTQI people and their families.
Equality Australia representative and trans woman Ymania Brown said the laws were a life-changing moment for trans and gender diverse Queenslanders.
“What most people in Australia see as a simple piece of paper is that transgender and gender diverse people have a right to exist and be seen for who we are,” she said in a statement.
“Everyone deserves the respect and dignity to be recognized as themselves.”