While it’s traditional to label your child as male or female based on their sex when born, many parents these days are choosing to allow their kids to decide their own gender identity as they get older. While there’s nothing stopping parents from doing this regardless of what their child’s registered sex is, some states have begun offering gender-neutral birth certificates to support nonbinary families, with New Jersey recently becoming the fourth.
- New Jersey is offering three birth certificate gender options. From February 1, parents were able to choose male, female, or undesignated/nonbinary when filling out their child’s birth certificate, the law states. The legislation is known as the Babs Siperstein Law, named after the first trans person to become part of the Democratic National Committee and a born and raised NJ resident.
- It’s all about giving people the power of self-determination. While gender-neutral birth certificates may be a relatively new thing with only California, Washington, and Oregon previously offering the option along with New York City, allowing nonbinary people to choose to officially identify as such is a powerful statement. “Having a gender-neutral option will now give thousands of people in the state of New Jersey the power to self-identify,” said Amanda Babine, director of policy and programs at the New York Transgender Advocacy Group. “We find this choice to determine their own identity leads to an increase in well-being for the individual and a push towards creating more inclusive communities.”
- This is also important for transgender and nonbinary adults. In addition to allowing parents to choose a nonbinary option for their newborn children (which can always be changed later in life if they so choose to identify as male or female), having a gender-neutral birth certificate option is also important for adults who identify differently than their assigned sex at birth.
- Hopefully more states will get on board with this moving forward. It doesn’t hurt anyone else to allow people to self-determine how they identify, so why not?