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New law in Republic may allow kids to alter gender

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Children in the Republic under the age of 16 will be able to legally change their gender under plans being discussed by Fine Gael. (Martin Keene/PA)

Children in the Republic under the age of 16 will be able to legally change their gender under plans being discussed by Fine Gael. (Martin Keene/PA)

PA

Children in the Republic under the age of 16 will be able to legally change their gender under plans being discussed by Fine Gael. (Martin Keene/PA)

Children in the Republic under the age of 16 will be able to legally change their gender under plans being discussed by Fine Gael.

A Fine Gael policy paper drafted for the government formation talks recommends changing laws to allow all children to change their gender.

Under current legislation only those over 18 can legally change their gender in the Republic.

Children aged 16 and 17 can apply to the courts to have their gender changed if they have parental consent and medical approval.

However, in the report drafted by Fine Gael's LGBT Committee it is recommended that these children should be free to legally self-declare their own gender.

The committee, which includes Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as a member, also says laws need to be changed to allow all children under 16 change their gender with parental approval.

It says laws should be changed to "permit children aged under 16 years of age to secure legal recognition of gender by removing the criterion relating to minimum age".

The 15 page report also recommends that the Gender Recognition Act 2015 be changed to "allow for the recognition of a gender other than male or female in law".

It says that current legislation allows changes of gender "only from female to male and from male to female".

The committee notes that a number of countries including Germany, Denmark and Canada allow people to declare a "third gender" on official documentation. They recommend that the next government should allow people who do not consider themselves either male or female to be permitted to mark X on their passports.

Belfast Telegraph