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Pennsylvania makes it easier for transgender people to correct birth certificates

Pennsylvania just became the 12th state in the U.S. to remove the need for transgender people to provide proof of surgery to update their gender marker on their birth certificate. 

Under Pennsylvania’s new policy, which is similar to the process for updating gender markers on US passports, proof of sex reassignment surgery is no longer a requirement in changing one’s gender on their birth certificate.  Individuals with a Pennsylvania birth certificate can update the gender by having their physician submit a letter stating that they have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. Information about specific treatment is not required, but it can include counseling related to gender identity or living in accordance with their gender identity.  For those that are not yet 18 years of age, a parent can request a correction to the gender field on their child’s birth certificate.

For a number of years, Equality Pennsylvania has been working with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and partner organizations to push for critical policy updates to reduce barriers in accessing critical documents and care.  The improvement of this policy will significantly impact the lives of transgender Pennsylvanians.

At Equality Pennsylvania, we are appreciative of the PA Dept. of Health’s continued commitment to reducing health disparities and barriers to securing documents that appropriately reflect one’s identity.  We would also like to thank our partners Trans-Help and National Center for Transgender Equality as well many other advocates who helped reform this policy and process.

Questions regarding the process for changing one’s gender identity should be directed to the PA Department of Health at ​717-787-6436.

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