Platt Writes About Transgender Minors Making Legal Name And Gender Changes In NY

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Pryor Cashman Partner, Karen Platt, a member of the Family Law Group, has written an article for the New York Law Journal about the legal processes for changing a minor's name and gender...
United States Family and Matrimonial
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Pryor Cashman Partner, Karen Platt, a member of the Family Law Group, has written an article for the New York Law Journal about the legal processes for changing a minor's name and gender marker on key identifying documents.

In "Practical Legal Name and Gender Change Process Guidance for Transgender Minors in New York," Karen provides clarification on the steps for name and gender changes on legal documents:

To change the name and "sex designation" (the term used by the court system) of a minor who is a resident of New York state, the first step is to petition for an "Order Granting Name Change and/or Sex Designation Change for Individual Minor" (referred to herein as the Name Change Order). The New York State Supreme Court has jurisdiction to grant such changes for adults and minors (a minor here is anyone under the age of 18); for those residing in New York City, both the Supreme Court and the Civil Court have jurisdiction. The Uniform Court System's website has helpful information about this process and links for form petitions and affidavits in support thereof.

The name change petition may be filed by a parent, guardian or next friend of the minor. Any non-petitioning parent must be notified of the petition and given an opportunity to be heard regarding the application; if the non-petitioning parent supports the petition, he or she may file an affidavit in support. The petition must be accompanied by a certified copy of the minor's birth certificate, and a minor over the age of 14 must submit an affidavit in support of the petition.

The Name Change Order is an essential document for many other steps in this process. It is wise to obtain several certified copies.

She also outlines the process for changing a minor's birth certificate, dependent on where they were born:

For minors born in New York state, outside of New York City, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) website has forms to request a birth certificate change. For children under the age of 17, both parents or the minor's legal guardian(s) must submit an application and an "Affidavit of Gender" to request the change. In order to change a minor's name in addition to the "gender designation" (the DOH's term), the Name Change Order must be filed with the application

For minors born in New York City, the process is fairly similar. Key distinctions are that a minor for birth certificate change purposes under the City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) rules is anyone under the age of 18 (not 17), and applications may be made by mail or in person.

For minors born elsewhere, each state and country has its own rules for changing a name and gender on birth records.

Additionally, Karen lists other documents and accounts for which the minor's name and gender should be changed:

In addition to the key documents discussed, the minor's name and gender should be changed with health insurance, medical providers, frequent flyer programs, TSA precheck, providers of extracurricular activities and financial institutions holding accounts in the minor's name or for the minor's benefit (e.g. 529 accounts).

Read the full article using the link below (subscription may be required).


Originally published by New York Law Journal

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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