Germans Get a New Third Gender Option at Birth

First country to do so

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A new law in Germany is opening the door for parents to register their newborn children as something other than male or female.

Starting Nov. 1, German parents will be able to register their children as being of indeterminate sex if their babies show intersex characteristics. The move makes Germany the first European country to effectively recognize an intersex option on birth certificates, Deutsche Welle reports.

German parents previously have sometimes had to approve surgery to adjust the physical characteristics of their baby to be able to register it as a boy or a girl.

The change in policy follows a report by the German Ethics Council in 2012, which said “many people who are subjected to ‘normalizing’ operation in their childhood have later felt it to have been a mutilation and would never have agreed to it as adults.”

Intersex people, those who are born with neither exclusively male nor female characteristics, are one of the most invisible groups in German society noted Spiegel back in August, when the change in law was announced.

While the move has been heralded as a positive step, the German Interior Ministry said it was still “not adequate to fully resolve the complex problems of intersex people.”

[DW]

129 comments
Olayinka Bello
Olayinka Bello

Child dont fall from heaven,they are been given birth to by parent, they dont determine beign hamaprhodite themselves.

jskunkcabbage
jskunkcabbage

Well, a quick scan of the comments will clue you into which is the intelligent side of these issues. I'm glad Germany has consciously decided to torture humans just a little less. More, please, and yes my money is in it.

cunnipa
cunnipa

Der, Die, and now Das.

J.j. Lasne
J.j. Lasne

There is no such thing as a 3rd gender. If it occurs, it is a birth defect due to exposure to chemicals or radiation. Or DNA manipulation.

Andrea R G Tejana
Andrea R G Tejana

TIME has not helped the problem by having a headline that includes the word "gender" ... "gender" is a different concept from what is being discussed here, and arguably not applicable to babies in the first place.

Natalie FFong
Natalie FFong

Is it because they have a neutral gender in their grammar

Daniel Gyovai
Daniel Gyovai

I find it unethical for parents to make such a choice for their kids.

Kat Bomgardner
Kat Bomgardner

Better than requiring surgical gender selection surgeries on infants.

Geraldine Convery
Geraldine Convery

Ridiculous..how many hermaphrodites are born a year..Was it really necessary to issue a law to regulate them.. There are far more important issues that the German government should focus their attention on. G

Maria Titone
Maria Titone

Ridiculous!!!! I want to get out of the EU!!!!!

Ossie Sharon
Ossie Sharon

Worse than that, Victoria - this is a sample of the BETTER fraction that at least subscribes to updates from a news magazine considered "real".

Vijay Banga
Vijay Banga

May all others follow this precedence

Akeem Animashaun
Akeem Animashaun

My prayer is that we make it to heaven.in jesus name. Amen

Brian Wess
Brian Wess

Oh it's true Americans have devolved to fat apathetic slobs.. Most of us anyway he he he MURICA!

Humaira Israr
Humaira Israr

Thanks God ..... Some good law for recognizing the existence of third gender

Ashish A. Naicker
Ashish A. Naicker

A good move for equality. Just one question, how do you determine the gender of a newborn or even their sexual preference?

Valancy Stevens
Valancy Stevens

Indeterminate gender is a fact that has been ignored ... no, "scrubbed out" ... throughout history. Such acknowledgement is good ... if confusing.

Karla Marxiza Flores
Karla Marxiza Flores

That' absurd! Even parents doesn't have the right to choose such thing as that for their children.

Mark Jacang
Mark Jacang

The Prussian Civil Code of 1794 had an "Hermaphrodite-Paragraph", so the line of thought and legislation isn't really new - clarity takes courage and is best invoked discretely :)

Tee Marie
Tee Marie

I want to go back to the 50s.

Sylvia Dörflinger
Sylvia Dörflinger

Amazing how many people write a comment without having read the article and without knowing what it's all about

Ann DuTreil
Ann DuTreil

I hope that Petra is spayed. No child deserves to be raised by such a closed minded individual.

Sebastian Lück
Sebastian Lück

Ever heard of Mendel (the father of genetics), Miescher (first to discover DNA), Flemming, Correns, von Tschermak, Strasburger and many others? You know what they all have in common? They are all from Germany, Austria or Switzerland and the entire field of genetics is based on their work. Maybe nobody needs to explain basic genetics to the germans but somebody needs to explain basic reason to the rest of the world.

Richard Gelders
Richard Gelders

It seems to be very difficult for a lot of people to understand/accept that there is more than the XX & XY chromosome (female/male) structure. Genetically and/or psychologically people will not always fit in this binary structure...I know an intersex case, this person is very happy with the recognition in Germany (this person's life was/is very difficult, especially to get understanding from others). Hopefully, more countries will provide law to register intersex. I totally support this, as a Dutch guy (living in Asia for 12 years). I am not religious, for me respect for people is more important, not a traditional/old fashion view on male/female. Cheers

Joshua Scott Klarr
Joshua Scott Klarr

I think that the term "hermaphrodite" is okay when nobody in the conversation understands what the roots of the word mean. Once you've been warned, go with intersex. It's less confusing anyways.