I recently began the process of getting my birth certificate changed and even in a state where it seems straight forward, it can be a challenge. Add in the fact that it’s not the state you currently reside in and it gets worse. From what I hear, if you’ve moved from out of country that it may be impossible.
At the time of writing this I knew my West Virginia b/c required a court order and they would honor one issued from a Virginia court. I researched and found that Virginia has a specific court process to change the gender on a b/c. Fill out a form, submit your counties circuit court and have a judge sign off. Simple, right? Hold on, my circuit judge has decided in another case of a person who was born out of state, it is also appropriate to incorporate the regulations of the registrars office into his decision.
In the state of Virginia the statute requires an attached letter from a qualified physician that states “the sex of the applicant has been changed by medical procedure“.
However, I’ve found the registrars regulations says “upon presentation of acceptable evidence (preoperative diagnosis, postoperative diagnosis and description of procedure) and a notarized affidavit from the physician performing the surgery, a new certificate of birth may be prepared by the State Registrar”
Notice the discrepancy between the statute and the regulation, medical procedure vs surgery. My physician is willing to attest to my sex being changed by medical procedure and such was in the other case.
So even though I will not be filing with Virginia’s registrar, I will be held to the standard that I must have completed surgery in order to amend my b/c. I have yet to even check with WV on what their regulation says, if they have one. But now I know to ask the question I will.
WAIT….what if I don’t want or can’t have surgery? What if I don’t want or can’t go on HRT? I’ve contacted an attorney and am told that there are many attorneys and organizations like ACLU that are working to get the regulation changed. She will also argue for me that the judge is there to rule on the statue alone. Regulation is not his purview.
I’m interested to know what obstacles others may have encountered or are going through.
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