WA State to approve 3rd sex on birth certificates

January 5, 2018
BY Courtney Han 

Washington state will allow residents to change the sex on their birth certificates to a nonbinary option called “X.” 

The new rule, announced Thursday and effective Jan. 27, also removes the need for medical approval from a primary physician for adults who want to change the sex status on their birth certificate.


Minors who don't identify male or female and want to change their sex designation still need written consent from a parent or legal guardian and medical input. The difference now is that the list of health care professionals who can approve the change has expanded for minors to include primary physicians, physician assistants, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and mental health counselors, according to the state Department of Health.


People interested in changing their sex classification must complete a request, have it notarized and submit it to the health department.


Washington state has allowed residents to change their sex designation from male to female and vice versa for the past 10 years, Spice said, adding that the movement toward a third option stemmed largely from changing social norms. 


The rule was signed by Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman and officially adopted Dec. 27, but not publicly released until Thursday, a state official said.


Washington will be the second state to enact the third sex rule, after Oregon. California is also adopting the law, effective in September.