Government to ban gender confirmation surgery for under-18s

Currently under-18s need parental consent

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The government will set out plans to ban under-18s from undergoing gender confirmation surgery, the equalities minister Liz Truss has announced.

“I believe strongly that adults should have the freedom to lead their lives as they see fit, but I think it’s very important that while people are still developing their decision-making capabilities that we protect them from making those irreversible decisions,” she said.

Currently, those under the age of 18 with gender dysphoria are allowed genital reconstructive surgery if they have parental consent.

However, due to the lengthy process of changing gender, in reality few teenagers are able to undergo irreversible surgery before they reach adulthood.

A full response to reforming the Gender Recognition Act will be published this summer, two years after a public consultation was launched.

The inquiry looks at how transgender people change their legal gender on their birth certificates.

Under the existing law, a trans person must undergo a two-year waiting period and a review from a specialist panel before being able to change their gender legally.

Addressing the Women and Equalities Committee today, Ms Truss said the Act would include the “protection of single-sex spaces” and ensuring that transgender adults are free to live “without fear of persecution”.

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