Criteria under which a transgender person may amend their birth certificate

Emmy Rākete made this Official Information request to Department of Internal Affairs

The request was partially successful.

From: Emmy Rākete

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

Under section 28 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995, transgender applicants may make a declaration to the Family Courts seeking to have their birth certificates amended to reflect their life. However, the terms under which such a declaration will be accepted are unclear - DIA documents only state that 'some degree of permanent physical change' is required.

Given that transgender people as a population often lack the disposable income to make repeated applications to the Family Courts, I ask that the DIA clarify the terms under which it will or will not accept a declaration that a birth certificate should be amended.

Yours faithfully,

Emmy Rākete

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JustSpeak left an annotation ()

Hey Emmy,

The standard is super stupid. I don't think DIA will have any policies on this - although they might. What counts as "some degree of permanent physical change" is completely determined by Family Court judges - so basically you make an application and then hope the Judge will agree with you. So far, the only two things the Court has accepted are complete gender reassignment surgery or really long term (like 30 years +) hormone replacement therapy. I was talking to a lawyer friend of mine and she thinks that to the extent that anyone ever changes their birth certificate, it's the last thing people do - as like a box ticking exercise - when they're old. I suspect probably no one in prison has had their birth certificate changed, making the law change for prisoners completely redundant.

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Emmy Rākete left an annotation ()

Cheers - that's exactly what I think too. This request is mostly to confirm from DIA that their criteria really are that arbitrary. I have another request in with them atm regarding the number of accepted versus declined declarations. It's a pretty crude measure but will still hopefully shed some light... Thanks!

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From: Petar Vrecic
Department of Internal Affairs

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Attachment Emmy Rakete OIA response.pdf
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Attachment Michael v R G FAM 2006 004 002325.pdf
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Dear Ms Rākete,


Please see the attached letter from Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General and
General Manager, Births, Deaths, Marriages, Citizenship, Authentications
and Translations.




Petar Vrecic | Business Support Officer | Births, Deaths, Marriages,
Citizenship, Authentications and Translations
Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua 
0800 22 52 52 | [1] 



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