Changing Gender on Birth Certificates for Transgender Individuals

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Changing Gender on Birth Certificates for Transgender Individuals

In order to change your name and gender on your birth certificate, you must file the appropriate court paperwork in the state you were born. You cannot file the court documents in another state because that state will not have jurisdiction or access to your birth certificate.

What Is the General Procedure to Change My Birth Certificate?

First, you must determine which state and district court have jurisdiction over your birth certificate change. Essentially, it is the state and county you are born in.

Second, depending on the state, you must petition with the court for the name change and gender change. The court will require you submit a letter from your therapist and/or doctor recommending the changes and/or describing your course of treatment. Some states require you to have actually undergone sex reassignment surgery, while others only require a doctor’s recommendation.

Third, you must attend a court hearing. At the hearing, you must prove why you want a name change and show that you are not defrauding the system with a name change. As such, some individuals change their names because they want to be release from debt or evade criminal charges.

Lastly, after the hearing, the court will edit your proposed order to determine whether the judge granted or denied the changes. If granted, then you can bring the court order to the appropriate department of vital records to get a new birth certificate issued.

What If I Was Not Born in he U.S., But Am a U.S. Citizen?

If you were not born in the United States, then you can still get a new birth certificate from the U.S. Department of State reflecting your name and gender changes. The U.S. Department of State will not amend your birth certificate, but will reissue you a new birth certificate.

As such, you will need to obtain a court order from the state you are residing. Afterwards, you must submit the court order, original birth certificate and letter from your doctor recommending the name change, and appropriate fees to the U.S. Department of State.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

An experienced family law lawyer can help you locate the appropriate courthouse and help you petition the court for a name and gender change on your birth certificate. Further, he may be able to expedite the process and prevent any delays.

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Last Modified: 04-23-2014 02:43 PM PDT

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