01/11/13 16:28 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Babies born in Germany with both male and female characteristics – known as intersex – can now have their gender left blank on birth certificates.
It is hoped parents will no longer feel pressured into quick decisions on sex assignment surgery in order to tick a male or female box.
An estimated one in 2,000 people are born with characteristics of both genders.
Katinka Schweizer from Hamburg University says decisions for babies and children who are intersex should not be rushed.
“Intersexuality is not a disease. It is a variant of nature. It is a term that describes many phenomena. There are forms that come with the need to treat the condition. But when it is about cosmetic surgery of the genitals then one should wait long enough until the persons can take their own decisions,” Schweizer said.
Germany is the first country in Europe to offer this option on a birth certificate, and only the second in the world after Australia.
German passports, will also have a third designation of X, alongside M and F.
The law was changed after a review of cases revealed early surgery forcing people into a particular gender had caused great suffering.
Latest world news
Migrant death toll in Mediterranean over past week ‘rises to 880’
Brazil anti-corruption minister quits after ‘trying to spoil’ corruption probe
North Korea missile test off east coast ‘fails’, says Seoul
Migrants rescued adrift on new Greece-Italy sea route
Brazilian police make arrests in videoed gang rape case
Wires > News
- 10:54 CET China to ‘pressure’ U.S. on maritime issues, paper says
- 10:39 CET Japan lower house defeats no-confidence motion against Abe’s…
- 10:33 CET New Zealand opposition aims to mount joint challenge in 2017 poll
- 10:27 CET Gunmen kill nine, kidnap 170 passengers from Afghan buses
- 10:22 CET Hamas executes three convicted Palestinians in Gaza
- 09:47 CET Swedish minority coalition government backed by 34.2 percent in…
- 09:36 CET Poland to appeal court decision not to extradite Polanski to U.S.
- 09:27 CET Two with Thai army links found guilty of attack on gold mine…