New Jersey Transgender Birth Certificate Law Takes Effect
Starting February 1, the “Babs Siperstein” birth certificate law goes into effect, allowing any individual to update their birth certificate to match their gender identity without invasive, outdated, or burdensome ‘proof of surgery’ restrictions.
“The Babs Siperstein law is a historic, life-changing moment for transgender New Jerseyans,” said Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino. “New Jersey has always been a leader for LGBTQ equality, and this law moves us one step further in bringing dignity, respect, and affirmation to every transgender person in our state. I’m grateful to Governor Murphy and our lawmakers—both Republicans and Democrats—for ensuring that equality reaches everyone in New Jersey.”
The Babs Siperstein Law, named for New Jersey transgender activist Barbra “Babs” Siperstein was signed into law by Governor Philip Murphy on July 3, 2018.
The law streamlines the process for New Jerseyans to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, removing the outdated, burdensome, and invasive “proof of surgery” requirement; adding a third gender option (“X” for non-binary/undesignated); and removing the provider certification (e.g. letter from a therapist) and replacing it with Self Attestation. This allows many in our state, including transgender, intersex, and non-binary people, to have full recognition in New Jersey.
Transgender, non-binary, and intersex New Jerseyans need access to identity documents that accurately reflect the gender they live every day, which is not necessarily the gender they were assigned at birth. We all use identity documents for important tasks such as enrolling ourselves, or our children, in school and college, applying for a job, opening a bank account, and applying for an apartment or mortgage. At other times we are compelled to show our identity documents, such as at a routine traffic stop. Having documentation that matches one’s gender is vitally important, as mismatches between a person’s gender identity and their identity documents can and does result in discrimination and harassment.
The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey showed that almost one third (32%) of transgender people who have shown ID’s that do not match their gender presentation had negative experiences as a result.
New Jersey now joins 15 other states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. in expanding dignity and equality to transgender people by removing “proof of surgery” requirements and becomes the 4th state to add a non-binary designation.
We at IRMS applaud our lawmakers and stand beside our Transgender community in this historic decision. We proudly create families for our LGBTQIA every day. For more information on our practice, please reach out to us online, on social or give us a call at 973.548.9900