MEDIA RELEASE: Select Committee Farewells Biology on Birth Certificates


3 November 2021

Select Committee Farewells Biology on Birth Certificates

The Governance and Administration Select Committee has confirmed its support for a law change which will deem birth certificates completely meaningless. Birth certificates will be based on the choice or even choices of the person, and no medical evidence will be required for the changes.

In the report – which could have been written by a transgender activist, but supported by MPs on the committee from both sides of the House – it not only supports the proposed law, but even suggests that it be more radical. This is in contradiction to the overwhelming number of submissions which opposed the proposal. Of the 6,609 submissions reviewed, 73% were against the changes with just 25% supportive of them!

Disturbing elements of the report (including commentary from the Committee) are:

  • Sex self-identification is an administrative process, rather than a health-related process or medical procedure.”
  • “These considerations reflect the basic principles that the requirements should not medicalise the process”
  • “it is important to allow the sex markers to be prescribed by regulation, rather than primary legislation. This would allow them to be more easily reviewed and updated as understanding of sex and gender changes over time.”
  • “We believe that people should be allowed to amend their registered sex more than once, to reflect that gender can be fluid for some people.”
  • Affirms reducing the requirements for a 16-17 year old changing their sex, so that a health professional’s recommendation is no longer required (pesky doctors!). It could be a parent, or a “third party” (pesky parents!) “It is possible that a 16- or 17-year-old may not receive guardian consent. In our view, this should not be the end of the processWe think that providing a reasonable alternative to guardian consent is important for young people who may not have guardians willing to support them in amending their sex.”
  • For children 15 years or younger, a health professional’s recommendation is no longer required either. Just a parent and a “third party”.
  • Who can be a “third party”? Could be “have known the applicant for a period of time” but “wide enough to provide applicants with a reasonable level of choice”. Basically anyone who agrees, eh.
  • Under the bill, reverting back to your biological sex was to be easier (for obvious reasons!) but the Committee said – oh no! “We have some concern about this. It could create an unfair disparity between those intending to change back to the sex marker registered at birth and those wishing to change to a different one. It could be perceived as implying that being cisgender and reverting back to sex at birth is the ideal, which is not our intent.”
  • “Some submitters were concerned that a self-identification process would have an adverse effect on women’s sport. We take a different view.”
  • the information on a birth certificate alone is not definitive evidence of a person’s sex.”

And then it got even more absurd….

  • “The SOP states that the statutory declaration accompanying an application to amend the registered sex must verify that the eligible person identifies as, and intends to live as, a person of the nominated sex… We agree that requiring someone to declare that they intend to “live as” a person of the nominated sex is problematic. Inadvertently, this could be perceived as enshrining sexist stereotypes in law depending on a person’s view of what it means to “live as” a person of a particular sex.” Those clauses are now removed (“intend to live as a person of the nominated sex”)

In a touch of massive irony, the Select Committee inadvertently confirmed why the ‘conversion therapy’ bill should be binned, and why parental notification for teen abortions should be mandated.

  • “We think that the difference between a 16- or 17-year-old and a child is their competence in making important decisions with significant consequences. We think it is important to retain a guardian’s responsibilities for their child’s development and helping their child to understand and make important decisions. This is why we think consent from a guardian must be required if a child under 16 wants to amend their registered sex… we are not confident that all children from age 12 to 15 have adequate competence to make important decisions.”

Finally, and to confirm just how much this process has been hijacked by activists, the report moved well beyond its parameters, and made a recommendation that had absolutely nothing to do with the Inquiry. They recommended:

  • “That the Government commit to developing comprehensive guidance for both co-ed and single-sex schools on how to provide a safe and supportive environment for takatāpui, transgender, intersex, and non-binary students.”

It is obvious to everyone that this has nothing to do with the registration of births, deaths and marriages.

“By choosing your own gender in your birth certificate, the certificates will become an object of unscientific gender ideology and effectively tell medical professionals that they got it wrong at time of birth. Circumstances may change but a historical document should not be able to be changed,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The politicians on this Select Committee appear devoid of scientific reality.”


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First


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