birth certif 010923SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas is proud to support a new law making it easier for people to change their gender on their birth certificate, as well as waiving fees for people in certain groups to order a new birth certificate.

“This law will be life-saving for many transgender and nonbinary people in our state, who will now be able to live more fully as themselves,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “I am so proud to be a part of this fight for equality, and that our transgender siblings will be able to change their documentation more quickly and without risking their safety.”

Before this law, people seeking to change their gender faced systemic barriers. To change the gender on a birth certificate, people needed a declaration from a health care provider stating that they had undergone some form of gender transition treatment according to medical standards, or have an intersex condition—as well as proof from the licensed health care professional completing the form. This process excluded people who were unable to afford gender-affirming health care or begin undergoing a medical transition, people who were unable to find a health care provider supporting them through their transition, and people who identify as transgender or nonbinary who have no desire to undergo medical procedures.

To address these exclusions, House Bill 9 removes the language requiring a supervising licensed health care professional to affirm someone’s gender identity. Instead, all that is required to change the gender on a birth certificate will be a signed statement by the individual affirming their gender identity or intersex condition and requesting the birth certificate to be changed. The gender designation may be changed to “a male, female, or X designation.”

“Transgender and nonbinary folks cannot all afford transition-related health care, have access to gender-affirming health care providers, nor do all transgender people want to undergo transition-related surgeries or feel safe enough to pursue these processes,” Pacione-Zayas said. “At the end of the day, the only requirement that should be necessary for someone to change their gender designation on a birth certificate should be the desire from the individual for their legal gender be changed, and this law will do just that.”

House Bill 9 passed the Senate on January 5, 2023. It now goes to the governor’s desk.