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Transgender people: bill facilitating identity changes

The government has drafted and prepared draft legislation reforming the 2007 law on identity changes for transgender people.

The current law is in contravention of human rights and the European Convention on Human Rights

The conditions that the law imposes on transgender people in order to change their identity are an attack against human dignity and each person’s right to self-determination.

Indeed, article 62bis of the Civil Code states:
Ҥ1. Any Belgian or foreigner registered in the population register who is absolutely, firmly and irreversibly convinced that they belong to the opposite sex to the sex stated on their birth certificate, and whose bodies have been adapted to this opposite sex in any way possible and justified from a medical point of view, may declare the above to the civil registrar.
A non-emancipated transgender minor who choose to declare must be assisted by their mother, father or legal representative.
The declaration is made to the civil registrar of the city in which he or she is registered on the population register.
Belgians who are not registered on the population register must declare to the civil registrar of their place of birth. If the individual was not born in Belgium, the declaration should be made to the civil registrar of Brussels.
During the declaration, a Belgian who is not registered on the population register must provide an address to the civil registrar in order to notify the individual in the event that the document mentioning the new sex is rejected.
§ 2. During the declaration, the interested party must provide the civil registrar with a declaration from a psychiatrist or surgeon, as the attending doctor, stating that:
1. The interested party is absolutely, firmly and irreversibly convinced that they belong to the opposite sex to the sex stated on their birth certificate;
2. The interested party has undergone gender reassignment surgery to become the other sex, in any way possible and justified from a medical point of view;
3. The interested party is no longer able to conceive children as their original gender.


The new draft legislation removes all medical conditions to allow a purely administrative procedure

The interested party must first provide a declaration to the civil registrar that for a certain period of time they have been convinced that the sex indicated on their birth certificate does not match their gender identity they have intimately experienced and that he or she wishes to change it both administratively and legally.

The civil registrar must:

The public prosecutor will have a period of three months to issue a notice.

If the notice is negative, the civil registrar must refuse the declaration.

In this case, the person may file an appeal to the family court. If the notice is not issued in a timely manner, the answer will be considered to be positive.

A waiting period begins after the declaration during which the individual may inquire with an organisation representing transgender people.

After a period of reflection between three and six months following the declaration, the individual must appear before the civil registrar.

The individual must reiterate their wish to change sex and state that he or she is aware of the legal and administrative consequences and the serious nature of changing gender. The individual must also provide a certificate that he or she has been informed by a transgender organisation of the consequences.

Lastly, the civil registrar shall modify the birth certificate. If the registrar refuses to issue the certificate due to a rejection from the public prosecutor or any other reason, the registrar shall inform the individual of their decision and the reasons for it. The civil registrar cannot refuse a declaration due to personal reasons or personal beliefs.

Minors: the draft legislation allows a child’s identity to be changed from the age of 12.

From the age of 12, child will be able to request a change of first name which relates to their intimately experienced gender identity. This can be done with the assistance of their parents or legal representative.

From 16, their sex can also be changed on their birth certificate. The assistance of their parents or legal representative is also required. Given the considerable repercussions that a sex change on their birth certificate could have on the minor, a declaration must be provided from a child psychiatrist. The declaration must exclusively confirm that the minor has expressed their wish with full conscious and without any pressure, and/or no judgment is given.