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Brandon Family Law Center, LLC

Supporting Families from Birth to Legacy

Brandon Family Law Center, LLC

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Birth to Legacy

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Intersex gender designation now available in Germany

The German government just passed a law which went into effect on November 1st, that allows parents to choose a third option for the gender marker on their new baby's birth certificate.  They can choose "indeterminate" as the gender, if the child shows both male and female characteristics.

While still a student in high school, I first became aware of intersex children - that is the occurrence of children who are born with gender markers from both genders.  Some estimates are that one in 2000 children may have this condition at some level.  The human tragedy of these children has been that often, doctors force surprised and confused parents to choose the gender for the child, and then do surgery on a tiny infant to "correct" their gender, by creating or removing genitalia.  

Finally, the world is taking notice, and legislating a solution.  The German government is leading the way.  They just passed a law which went into effect on November 1st, that allows parents to choose a third option for the gender marker on their new baby's birth certificate.  They can choose "indeterminate" as the gender, if the child shows both male and female characteristics.  This will allow for time to pass, until the child can decide with which gender they wish to be characterized.  If they choose, they can retain the designation of undetermined on their German passport.    

Other countries that allow the designation of intersex include Australia, India, and Pakistan.  I would be very interested in receiving comments on this issue.  Do you think the US government should pass such a law?

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