Gender reassignment: Jacques Toubon wants to simplify the French registration procedure

In the June 24, 2016 press release, Defender of Rights Jacques Toubon expressed his opinion in favor of simplifying the administrative procedure for gender reassignment on the civil registry. He recommends modifications be accomplished by a simple, rapid and clearly-stated declaration, in front of the Office of the Local Civil Registrar.

This opinion stance has been voiced while the subject is being debated in the bill “Justice for the 21st Century” which has been the focus of an expedited procedure. Although the initial bill had no provisions for this area, the National Assembly adopted in first reading article 18 quater which already greatly facilitates the procedure for reassigning gender.

In re-examining the text in the second reading, after being rejected by the Joint Committee, the Legal Committee of the French National Assembly adopted several amendments on June 29, 2016. The procedure is aimed at further simplifying the process of reassigning gender, especially by completely “eliminating medical criteria”. The individual requesting the reassignment no longer has to produce a medical certificate (to demonstrate that he/she has the attributes of the requested gender). Moreover, no condition of irreversibility such as sterilization is demanded.

A rapid and easy procedure:

To summarize, an individual can now request gender reassignment for the civil registrar by appealing to the District Court. The judge’s role has yet to be decided; the rules will have to be addressed by a decree from the State Council. The procedure will be extremely simple and very rapid, since the adopted amendment specifies that the mention of gender reassignment be noted on the civil registry within three months of the court order.

If these initiatives are conclusively voted, in France a woman who is reclassified as a man on the civil registry, and maintains her feminine physiology could carry a child and give birth. Equally, a man could be classified as a woman on the civil registry, all the while keeping the status of being a father.

For further information:

–     June 29, 2016 Amendments at the Legal Committee of the French National Assembly