Sunday, 27 October 2013

Changing the sex on your birth certificate in Qld and NSW


One might think that it is a straightforward thing to get your birth certificate changed in Queensland and NSW from an M to an F or an F to an M. Well it might be, but generally forget it if you were born in NSW and live overseas, and for most, forget it if you are married.

For those adults seeking to change their sex on their birth records, there are subtle differences between NSW and Queensland. In both states, the person must be unmarried (although in Queensland this may not apply to those married overseas), have had “sexual reassignment surgery” (Qld) or a “sex affirmation procedure” (NSW) and fill out a form with statutory declarations by two doctors to verify that.

In NSW the doctors must be Australian doctors. In Queensland, the doctors can be from some overseas countries.

Queensland recognises interstate recognition certificates. NSW does not.

NSW has two further requirements that Queensland does not have. NSW requires the person seeking the change to have lived in NSW for the previous year and they must be either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia.

Some years ago I obtained a ruling from then Queensland Attorney-General Rod Welford that the requirement under the Queensland legislation did not apply to those living overseas who married overseas.  My client who fit both criteria was able to get her birth record changed form an M to an F. Whether this ruling still applies is not known.

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