No Gender? Canadian Parent Wants First Birth Certificate Without Male Or Female Designation

Baby in a cot
Nicky Loh/Reuters

A parent in Canada is fighting a law that says a child's gender must be stated on their birth certificate, in order to keep their baby "genderless."

Kori Doty, who does not identify as male or female, wants their eight-month-old baby Searyl Atli to be able to choose their gender, but Canadian law states the baby will not be given a birth certificate without specifying its sex.

"I'm raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I'm recognizing them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box," Doty, who prefers to use the pronoun 'they,' told CBC News.

However, Doty has been unable to secure a birth certificate for the baby, as authorities in British Columbia are refusing to hand one over until Doty confirms the gender of the child—something they claim is a violation of the baby's human rights.

"When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life," Doty said.

"Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then," they added.

Although no birth certificate has been issued for the baby, authorities in B.C. did send Doty a medical card for the baby with 'U', signifying unidentified gender, on it—something Doty wants to see replicated on the birth certificate.

Indeed, the parent, a member of the Gender-Free ID Coalition, is seeking a judicial review over the baby's birth certificate, and is among a group of eight people also fighting to change the gender of their own birth certificates.

"I want my kid to have all of the space to be the most whole and complete person that they can be," Doty added.