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How to legally change your gender

Thursday, 15 December 2016

word gender on colorful wooden cubesIf you are looking to legally confirm a change of gender, you can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate with the help of a solicitor. Here we will outline some key information regarding legally changing your gender in the UK.

In order to be legally recognised as your chosen gender in the UK you must first apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. While changing your gender with banks, schools and official documentation such as your driving license or passport is relatively straight forward, it does not presently change your legal gender. However, under the Gender Recognition Act (2004) a route has been created for transsexual people to be able to legally change their gender.

In order to be able to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate you must be able to demonstrate that you meet specific criteria to the Gender Recognition Panel. First of all you must be at least 18 years of age. You must also have been living as your chosen gender for a minimum period of two full years. You must intend to continue to live as that gender for the rest of your life. You are also required to provide medical reports, one from your General Practitioner (GP) and one from a Gender Specialist. These medical reports are to provide and confirm a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria. The report will be required to detail any transition related medical treatment that you have undergone, or explain your reasons behind not wishing to have any treatment. Treatment could involve psychological counselling, hormone treatment or other types of treatment.

If you are married, or in a civil partnership then the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate can be more complicated. In Scotland, Gender Recognition Certificates are now also available to persons who are married or in a civil partnership without the need to divorce first under the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act (2014). However, in the rest of the UK, written consent from your spouse needs to be provided. If you are in a civil partnership you will also need to convert the partnership to a marriage before you can be given legal gender recognition. However, if both civil partners wish to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate at the same time, then there is no need to convert the marriage.

Here at Rollingsons, our family law team is experienced in the Gender Recognition Application process. We can help you to complete the relevant forms, as well as provide the necessary evidence and documentation to complete the process in a timely fashion. To arrange an initial consultation with a solicitor experienced in these issues, please contact us today on 020 7611 4848.

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