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Germany: Parents Can Pick Babies’ Gender on Birth Certificates

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Oct 31, 2013
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Germany will become the first country in the world that grants parents rights to choose their baby’s gender on the newborn’s birth certificate, the Huffington Post reports.

According to HuffPo the legislation, which goes into effect on Nov. 1, was made in order to create legal recognition for people who identify as intersex, and for children who are born without a clearly determinable anatomical gender. According to the Intersex Society of North America, 1 out of every 1,500 babies are boring without clearly determinable genitalia.

The new measure aims "to take the pressure off parents to commit themselves to a gender immediately after birth," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"This will be the first time that the law acknowledges that there are human beings who are neither male nor female, or are both," University of Bremen law professor Konstanze Plett told the AFP. "People who do not fit into the traditional legal categories... We will have fellow human beings with no sex registered. They can’t be forced into either one of the traditional sexes in these other contexts."

The WSJ reports that if a child "cannot be assigned to the female nor the male gender," the status "shall be entered without such information in the register of births."

Silvan Agius, policy director at Equality of LGBT people in Europe told Reuters that the bill "doesn’t go far enough."

"Unnecessary surgeries will likely continue in Germany with devastating consequences... we live in a world where having a baby classified as ’other’ is still considered undesirable," Aguis said.

Australia passed a similar measure in 2011, which allows individuals to select a third gender, or "X," on their passports, the BBC reports.

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