Removing Sex From Birth Certificates

Last updated February 14th, 2023

It is United States law that a birth certificate is completed for all births. The official government-approved document must be completed by the child’s parent, which is then certified by a medical professional.

The exact information required for a birth certificate depends on the state, but the sex of the child is usually mandatory. This means that the sex assigned to the child at birth must be recorded.

Individuals whose gender does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth can correct the error on their birth certificate. There are different laws regarding this type of change, depending on the state.

Is It Possible to Remove Sex on a Birth Certificate?

While some may want to amend the sex marker on their birth certificate, others may prefer to omit it altogether.

However, in the US, it is not possible to remove the sex marker on a birth certificate.

Currently, there are only options to amend the assigned sex. The specific laws for this type of change vary from state to state.

Amending Sex on a US Birth Certificate

It is possible to amend the sex marker on a US certificate in almost all states.

Some states only allow the sex marker to be changed between male and female, while other states also allow a gender-neutral marker.

US States With a Transgender Birth Certificate

It is possible to change the gender marker on a birth certificate in most US states to male or female. The process is different depending on which state you are in.

Some states allow individuals to amend the sex marker on their birth certificate to reflect their correct gender identity. Other states will issue a new transgender birth certificate in the applicant's preferred gender.

Changing your birth certificate gender marker to male or female

The procedure for changing your gender marker on a birth certificate depends on the issuing state. You may need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for the change.

In some states, it is necessary to provide evidence that the applicant has undergone Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS). This often leads to a long wait until surgery has been completed.

Other states do not require proof of SRS, making the process for amending the sex on a birth certificate much faster.

In all cases, if you wish to change the details of your birth certificate, you must obtain a certified copy of the original birth certificate for your application.

States With Gender-Neutral Designation

In 10 US states, there is also a gender-neutral birth certificate option, for those who do not identify as male or female.

The non-binary birth certificate typically has an X marker for a 3rd gender category.

Changing a birth certificate to an X marker

Although it is not possible to assign an X marker at birth, some states allow parents to change the sex marker shortly after the birth certificate has been issued.

Some states require you to be 18 years old or over before you can request to change your sex marker, while others allow you to change it sooner with the approval of a parent.

States where you cannot change your gender marker

There are just 4 states that do not allow the sex on a birth certificate to be altered: Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, and Tennessee.

In these states, it is not possible to amend the assigned sex on a birth certificate or to request a new one that reflects this change.

The American Medical Association’s Recommendation for Birth Certificates

The American Medical Association has recommended that sex is omitted from the public record of birth certificates.

The AMA argues that allowing a person’s assigned sex to be publicly available can result in many challenges for those who identify as trans, non-binary, and intersex.

They claim that these public records can often result in discrimination or harassment, when the sex on a birth certificate does not match how the individual presents themselves or identifies.

People from these marginalized groups can also face a great deal of gender dysphoria and anxiety when dealing with government documents that do not accurately reflect them.