Dozens apply for gender change after law is eased

Since January 1, transgender and intersex people have been able to apply for a sex and name change in the civil register without a medical exam or other pre-conditions. © Keystone / Anthony Anex

Dozens of people have applied to change their gender in the Swiss civil register after the law was eased on January 1 this year, reports the NZZ am Sonntag.

This content was published on January 9, 2022 minutes

The majority of applications were from people under the age of 30, the paper writes. One person under 16 applied accompanied by their parents.

It says that since the beginning of the year, there have been 20 applications in Zurich, 8 in Basel, 14 in Geneva, 4 in Lucerne, 5 in Winterthur and 23 in the canton of Bern.

Following a change in Swiss law, transgender and intersex people are now able to change their name and sex in the civil register without bureaucratic complications. As of 2022, there are no longer any medical examinations or other prerequisites. 

Every year, about 40 children are born with indeterminate sex at birth. However, the law previously required that they must be registered within three days with their sex and first name, which could only be changed later through a lengthy administrative or judicial procedure. 

The third step will be to introduce a “third gender,” the paper comments. “We still have, for example, cases of babies born with unclear biological sex,” Roland Peterhans, head of the Swiss Association of Civil RegistrarsExternal link, told the NZZ. “Parents must then choose very early on. That is not satisfactory.”

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