Finland ends infertility requirement for transgender people

HELSINKI: Finnish lawmakers on Wednesday approved amendments that will make it significantly easier for people to change their legally recognized gender in the Nordic country.
The changes, which are expected to come into force as soon as possible, also scrap a provision that required transgender people to provide a medical certificate proving they were infertile or sterilized before the government recognizes their gender identity. This part of the existing law was intended to prevent transgender people from having children.
Finland’s 200-seat parliament, the Eduskunta, voted 113 to 69 in favor of the changes, which lawmakers have hotly debated in recent months.
The bill allows transgender people aged 18 or over in Finland to legally change their sex by self-declaration without having to provide a psychiatric evaluation and the certificate of their ability to reproduce. In order to avoid misuse of the revised law, such requests can only be made once a year.
“By adopting this law, Finland has taken a big step towards protecting the rights of trans people and improving their lives and their right to self-determination”, Matti Pihlajamaa, Amnesty International Finland‘s LGBTI rights adviser, said in a statement.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin earlier said approving the amendments was a priority for his centre-left government, still during the two months remaining in Cabinet. Finland will hold general elections in early April.
Spain approved legislation last month allowing self-declaration gender changes, while the UK government vetoed a similar bill Scottish lawmakers passed in December.


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