Adam Dupuis's picture

Easier for Trans People to Update Birth Certificates in Russia than in Many U.S. States

This week, the Russian government wrote a new policy describing how transgender people may obtain medical certificates confirming their gender identity. Previously, it was up to individual civil registry servants o decide if new certificated were granted and under what restrictions and requirements. 

The clincher of this new Russian policy is that there will no longer be a requirement for proof of surgery, unlike in many U.S. states.

Requiring transgender people to undergo surgical procedures before their gender is mainly considered a human rights issue across the globe. Reasons for it being classified as such stem from it being an expensive procedure not all can afford, it may cause the individual to lose their reproductive ability, and some people may not want or feel they need to have the altering surgery. 

back in October of 2017, French Alters Sterilization Policy For Transgender People possibly starting a trend in better policy making across Europe. Did it just spread to Russia?

The big question is, will the news that Russia is more humanitarian in this regard spread to the United States and make us change our ways?

  • The American Medical Association has called for the removal of the surgical requirement for updating records, but only 17 states offer clear policies for changing birth certificates and do not require surgeries for recognition.
  • 18 states have policies that explicitly do require surgery: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, and New Jersey.
  • A few states, including Tennessee and Idaho, have no way of amending birth certificates.
  • Other states have no stated policies, and trans people’s success at seeking changes through the courts has been inconsistent.

Even though Russia is known for its anti-LGBT stance, are they getting better with the T?