by Kristina F. Singh on Jun 14, 2018 Uncategorized
Overall, legal changes relating to birth certificates show how quickly the law is catching up to social attitudes about sex and gender. In the early 2000s, intersex individuals in Australia sought and received replacement birth certificates that left gender unspecified. But these documents were issued on an ad_hoc, retroactive basis. Later laws, such as one passed in Germany in 2013, officially allowed parents to leave the gender box on birth certificates blank.
Birth registration has long been useful to governments, allowing them to tax, conscript, and count the population. That effort was traditionally the purview of churches, where the practice dates to the 16th century. It wasn't until 1837, in England and Wales, that birth registration began to become standardized and subject to governmental control.* Several decades later, it was mandatory to register all births in the two countries.