Canadian Baby Given "Unknown" As A Gender On ID Card

Posted: Jul 04, 2017 2:30 PM

A baby in Canada is believed to be the world's first to be not designated a gender due to a parent's request. Baby Searyl Atli was born in November to Kori Doty, who identifies as "non-binary" and does not identify as male or female (and prefers the pronoun "they"). Doty does not want a gender to ever be listed on their child's birth certificate or identification documents, and while British Columbia has so far refused to issue a birth certificate sans gender, the government did issue a state health card for Searyl with a "U" as the gender. Without this card, Searyl could not see a doctor. 

Doty wants Searyl to eventually decide on his/her own gender, and believes that assigning a gender to an infant at birth is a human rights violation.

"I'm raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I'm recognizing 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," Doty said.

Doty says the province is refusing to issue Searyl a birth certificate with no gender on it, although last month the province did acquiesce and send out the child's health card with a "U" for gender, presumably for "undetermined" or "unassigned," so they could access medical services. (CBC)

Per Doty's lawyer, barbara findlay (who does not spell her name with capital letters), British Columbia does not issue birth certificates other than "male" or "female." Doty is also attempting to adjust the gender on their birth certificate and is part of a lawsuit with others looking to make similar changes.

Rather than raising the baby genderless, it seems as though it would make more sense to raise the child with the knowledge that regardless if it is a boy or a girl, that they're capable of doing anything they want to. There's no "restrictions" that come inherent with the "boy box" or the "girl box" unless the parent puts them in the child's head. Thankfully, mine did not. Growing up, I played sports (even more typically masculine ones like ice hockey) as well as did "girlier" things like competitive dance and cheerleading. I played with trucks and legos. This didn't make me any less of a girl, the same way my little brother taking a year of toddler dance classes didn't make him any less of a boy. Raising a child without any sort of gender knowledge is only setting them up for confusion.

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