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Act on legal recognition of gender to be submitted to Parliament

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 22.9.2022 13.59
Press release 216/2022

The Government has submitted a proposal for an act on legal recognition of gender and for related acts. The legal recognition of gender would be separated from medical examinations and treatments. The current requirement of infertility would be removed from the act. The Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals would be repealed. 

The new act would improve the realisation of the right to self-determination, personal integrity, non-discrimination and the right to private life. The eligibility criteria for legal gender recognition would no longer include medical examination or diagnosis or infertility. 

Application would be based on a person’s own account of their experience of gender

A person's gender could be recognised to be other than the one recorded in the population information system if they present an account explaining that they permanently identify as the gender they are seeking the recognition for. The person must have reached the age of majority and have Finnish citizenship or a place of residence in Finland.

The application for legal gender recognition would be based on the person’s own account of their experience of gender. The person would submit a written application to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, which would then inform them of the application process and the legal effects of gender recognition. After receiving the information, the applicant would need to confirm their application, however, no earlier than 30 days after the application became pending. The purpose of this application procedure is to ensure that the person is making an informed choice and has considered their application carefully.

Other legislation would apply largely according to legally recognised gender 

The legally recognised gender should be considered the person’s gender when applying other legislation, unless otherwise provided. This provision aims to ensure that everyone is treated according to their gender identity. For example, conscription would be based on the person's legally recognised gender. The act would contain separate provisions on the application of certain gender-related provisions to persons whose gender has been legally recognised.

The acts are scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2023. However, the provision on changing the parenthood designation would only be applied on 1 January 2024 due to the required implementation measures.

Inquiries

Eveliina Pöyhönen, Director General, [email protected]
Sonja Jantunen, Lawyer, [email protected]

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