Arizona parents sue to allow changing gender on birth certificates without surgery

Three Arizona families have reportedly filed a lawsuit to allow their children to change the gender listed on their birth certificates without gender-affirming surgery.

The legal guardians are challenging the Arizona Department of Health over a state law on behalf of three unnamed children, including a 13-year-old transgender boy and two transgender girls who are 10 and 6. The lawsuit filed last week alleges that surgeries can end up not being needed if a transgender person takes drugs to stop puberty and its associated changes, the Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.

The lawsuit points to the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual that says children can develop gender dysphoria after becoming aware of their gender between the ages of 2 and 5. 


Asaf Orr, a senior staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights who is representing the families, said the current law is unconstitutional and a form of discrimination.

“They never need surgery, so this will effectively be a lifetime ban,” Orr told the Arizona Republic.

“This provision discriminates against transgender people by denying them access to the ability to correct and have a birth certificate that matches their gender identity, which is something that non-transgender people have,” he added.

Asaf said more states are permitting transgender people to adjust their birth certificate with a letter from their doctor that says the person has received treatment for gender transition.

The Arizona Department of Health declined to comment on the litigation. 

This lawsuit follows another one filed in August against the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System for not covering gender-affirming surgery, according to the Arizona newspaper.