In what could be the first of its kind, an eight month old Canadian baby has been issued a health card without a gender marker.
Parent Kori Doty who is a non-binary transgender person, identifying as neither male nor female, wants the child to discover their own gender. She has been fighting to omit the gender from the birth certificate.
The parent gave birth to Searly Atli last November at a friend’s house in British Columbia and since, has wanted to keep the child’s sex off all records. Kori uses the pronoun they for themselves and strongly believes that visual inspection at birth cannot determine what gender the child will identify with later in life.
Thus, the health card has been issued with a “U” in the space for sex, which could either be “undetermined” or “unassigned”.
“I’m raising Searyl in in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I’m recognising them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box,” Kori Doty was quoted as saying.
“When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life,” the parent said.
“Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.”
Kori is a community educator, part of the gender-free ID coalition. She believes that those who feel different to the gender designation assigned at birth face several problems later in life trying to change their documents.
The parent has applied for a judicial review of the case because authorities refuse to assign a birth certificate without a gender designation.
The family’s lawyer barbara findlay who chooses to spell her name entirely in lowercase, was quoted saying, “The assignment of sex in this culture is done when a medical person lifts up the legs and looks at the baby’s genitals. But we know that the baby’s own gender identity will not develop for some years until after they’re born.”
Canadian media reported that this could be the first case in the world where a health card did not have a gender designation.