Canada: 'I do not gender my child': B.C. baby issued health card without sex designation

A baby in B.C.'s Slocan Valley has been issued what is thought to be the first-ever health card without a gender marker. Searyl Atli Doty was born in November at a private residence. Because Searyl was not born in hospital, there was no medical genital inspection when the baby was born. Searyl's parent Kori Doty – who is non-binary trans, meaning they do not fit the male or female binary – said they want to keep the baby's gender off official records. 

When they filed a birth registration form, they left the section asking for gender blank, and submitted an affidavit explaining to the B.C. government's Vital Statistics Agency why they were not filling the section out. The reason, Kori said, is because they want to leave the decision up to Searyl, when the child is old enough to develop their own gender identity.

"I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals."

But the Vital Statistics Agency would not issue a birth certificate without a gender. A lack of birth certificate initially meant that Searyl would not receive a personal health number, which is given to all B.C. residents enrolled with the provincial Medical Services Plan.

Although Kori was denied a birth certificate for the baby, the family recently received a health card for Searyl. The card has a "U" in the section that indicates a person's sex, which Kori assumes means "unspecified" or "unknown."

It is thought to be the first in the world with an unspecified sex.

Kori is still working to get the eight-month-old baby a birth certificate, and has applied for a judicial review of the decision.

In the review application, Kori says that requiring a gender marker on a birth certificate is a "violation of Searyl's rights as a Canadian to life, liberty and security of the person, to freedom of expression, and to equality under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," a statement from the Gender Free ID Coalition said.

While the review focuses on Searyl's birth certificate, Kori is also part of an ongoing human rights complaint that seeks to change the requirement overall. Read more via CTV Vancouver