Igor KuznetsovAll materialsAccording to the new bill, just the consent of the guardian will suffice to change the legal gender for a pre-teen, with no medical examination or approval from healthcare authorities required.A new bill about legal medical gender change, presented by the Swedish Ministry for Social Affairs, will allow children starting from the age of twelve to apply for a new legal gender in the national population register.To do so, only the consent of their guardian will be required, but no examination or contact from healthcare authorities. Today, a doctor’s statement is needed to change one’s legal gender, which can be done starting from the age of 18.
"It's important for the individual to be able to live in the gender and the identity you have. When talking about changing gender identity in the population register, it deserves to be different from having an intervention on one's genitals", Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren of the Social Democratic Party told national broadcaster SVT.
She ventured that so far it is difficult to say whether the number of applications for gender change will increase, once the bill is implemented.
“It is still the case that even if you are younger, the guardian’s consent is still required”, Hallengren emphasised.For gender-correcting medical treatment, the age threshold will continue to be 18 years. However, no permit from the National Board of Health and Welfare will be required to carry out surgery. Instead, the necessary tests will be run by local doctors. Hallengren emphasised the importance of dialogue and rapport between the individual and the team of physicians.The Swedish government has long attempted to modernise the nation’s gender affiliation law, but the previous iteration of the bill in 2018 was harshly criticised by the legal council.Among other things, the government wanted to lower the age limit for having surgery to 15 years – without guardian or parental approval.
In the previous draft, it was proposed that children starting from the age of twelve should be allowed to change their legal gender with the consent of their guardian. Starting from 15, no consent would have been necessary.
The current iteration of the bill has been hailed as a major step for transgender people’s rights by the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Rights (RFSL), a non-profit organisation founded in 1950.
‘No Idea Why This Is Happening’: Norway Sees Spike in Young Girls Up for Sex Change14 January 2020, 06:42 GMTWhile the number of children undergoing gender reassignment procedures across Scandinavia has risen in recent years, doctors have warned of a number of “regretters” who are left to deal with irreversible treatment due to problems that may have only been temporary.In particular, the number of girls seeking a sex change has exploded dramatically. In 2008, 28 girls aged 10-19 received care for gender dysphoria, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare. In 2017, a decade later, wholly 536 girls in the same age group were enrolled. Numerous reports from doctors and parents testify that a large number regret their intervention and in some cases even chose to end their lives as a consequence of it, Sweden Democrat MP Angelica Lundberg wrote in her suggestion to instead raise the age threshold to 25.Meanwhile, Sweden is seen as having some of the most liberal LGBT laws in the world, with polls consistently indicating an overwhelming majority of Swedes (well over 90 percent) supporting LGBT rights and same-sex marriage. Same-sex sexual activity was legalised in 1944 and the age of consent was made equal to that of heterosexual activity in 1972. Sweden also became the first country in the world to allow transgender people to change their legal gender post-sex reassignment surgery in 1972, simultaneously declassifying transvestism as an illness. Legislation allowing legal gender changes without hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery was passed in 2013.