Come fall, Germany will be the first European country to offer three options on a child’s birth certificate.
The change, as reported by Spiegel Online International, will be available on 1 November. Birth certificates will have three options: the traditional ‘male’ and ‘female’ and a ‘blank’ option.
The additional choice permits children born with both male and female traits to choose a gender later in life. It also allows people to keep their gender unidentified.
It remains unclear how the this new ruling will impact other legal documents, like passports. Those still require applicants to choose between male or female.
Although the European Union released a study on transgender and intersex issues in 2010, member nations have been slow to act on gender identity discrimination.
‘Things are moving slower than they should at the European level,’ Silvan Agius, policy director at ILGA Europe, said to Spiegel. ‘Though Brussels has ramped up efforts to promote awareness of trans and intersex discrimination, I would like to see things speed up.’
ILGA Europe is the European section of the human rights group the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
‘Germany’s move will put more pressure on Brussels, Agius noted to Spiegel. ‘That can only be a good thing.’