Norway allows children to legally change gender

Transgenderism | New law requires no counseling, treatment, or physician consultation
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 9/29/16, 10:36 am

Norwegians as young as 6 can now legally change their gender using an online form—without a doctor’s approval, counseling, or surgery.

The law, adopted with a 79-13 vote by the Norwegian parliament in June, makes Norway the fifth country in the world to pass a similar law, and the second behind Malta to include children. While the process in Malta requires a parent to seek court approval for the gender change, children in Norway apply for the change using the same process and paperwork as adults.

While transgender activists celebrated the new law, experts warn treating gender dysphoria so lightly could multiply harm for children who most likely will shed feelings of confusion as they become adults.

Under the law, a person who wants to identify as a gender that does not correspond to his or her biological sex must submit an online form and return a mailed letter confirming the decision. Once approved, the individual receives a new national identification number allowing him or her to update passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, credit cards, and other forms of identification. More than 250 Norwegians, including nine minors, have applied so far, and the government has accepted every application.

“I have met several young people who have told me that this new law is making their lives easier. Several have come out of a dark place,” said Health Minister Bent Hoie. Lawmakers considered requiring a certain amount of time between the application and the legal change to allow for reflection but dismissed the idea as “patronizing,” Hoie said.

Prior law in Norway required a person have counseling, hormone replacement therapy, and sex reassignment surgery before legally changing gender.

The Norwegian Association for Gender and Sexual Diversity successfully lobbied to lower the law’s age limit from 7 to 6, arguing children should be able to start school with their new gender and not have to change mid-schooling. Others disagreed with any age limit, pushing instead for no restrictions on how young a child can be.

Some transgender advocates took the other side, arguing the law was rushed through and opens the door to abuse if people don’t take it seriously.

“We have worked so many years to build up an understanding of what this condition is, and who this group is,” said Mikael Scott Bjerkeli, president of the Harry Benjamin Resource Center, an organization helping transgender people receive treatment to transition medically. Bjerkeli cites an instance last year when a Danish man legally changed genders and then disrobed in a female changing room to make a political point. Bjerkeli believes Norway should at least require counseling for persons wanting to change gender.

But experts urge caution. A 2016 report on sexuality and gender in the journal The New Atlantis concluded drastic interventions for those identifying as transgender are “especially troubling” for children. The report, authored by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, both from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, noted “the majority of children who identify as the gender opposite their biological sex will not continue to do so as adults.”

“We have reservations about how well scientists understand what it even means for a child to have a developed sense of his or her gender,” write Mayer and McHugh, noting “there is a lack of reliable studies on the long-term effects of these interventions. We strongly urge caution in this regard.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.

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  • Minivan Man's picture
    Minivan Man
    Posted: Thu, 09/29/2016 01:42 pm

    Can anyone explain to me what the difference is between someone who is transgender and someone who is pretending to be transgender?

  • BostonSteve
    Posted: Thu, 09/29/2016 02:12 pm

    In this twisted worldview, gender is a thing someone feels.  So someone is transgender if they feel like they are a different sex than the one God gave them.  On the otherhand, transexual means that they've actuall gone under the knife to fix it.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Fri, 09/30/2016 05:53 am

    I understand the following:

    A gender dysphoric person is someone who struggles with their gender identity.  

    A transgender person is someone who identifies as the opposite to their biological gender identity.  That is, someone concluding from their gender dysphoria that they want to be identified as the opposite to their biological sex.

    A transexual is someone who has pursued surgical means to change their body to conform to their felt identity.  That is, someone who has taken their change of sexual identity (i.e. from being transgender) and is now attempting to conform their physical body to their chosen identity.

    Finally, a transvestite is someone who retains their biological gender identity but dresses and acts like the opposite gender.   

    I also understand there is some debate in the LGBT community about some of these definitions...

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Thu, 09/29/2016 07:19 pm

    This is dangerous.  Suicide is a reality for some of these children either sooner or later.  The medical community is at fault for not insisting that age 18 and younger not be allowed to undergo this treatment.  All of these children need counseling, whether they opt as adults for transitions or not.     

    Posted: Wed, 01/18/2017 01:17 pm

    Either that or not allowing this at all.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Fri, 09/30/2016 07:19 am

    This is pure ideology and worship of our senses (with little to no research backing).  Lord have mercy on us!  

    If you don't agree with what is happening in the US and western civilisation, I again encourage you to speak up and stand against these changes.

    Posted: Fri, 10/07/2016 03:17 pm

    This nonsense defies belief! Could this be the future of America if ideologues like Obama prevail?

  • Nanamiro
    Posted: Tue, 01/31/2017 07:00 pm

    My question is, why do our passports, drivers licsences, birth certificates, credit cards and other forms of identification have our sex on them at all? If gender is purely a feeling and is inevitabley irrelevant to all these documents,in that it can be changed on a whim, why put it on there at all? When this child visits a doctor, is the doctor really going to treat him as though he were female? Ask about whether or not he has started mensturating etc? If the doctor doesn't treat this child as though he were a girl, will he be discriminating? Or if he does, will that be considered malpractice? How far must the charade go?

  • Susan Peterson
    Posted: Fri, 03/17/2017 04:21 pm

    This is just downright scary and so inappropriate.  Praying for Norway and the World for getting caught up in this twisted belief of transgender and destroying our human race and what God intended for good.