Baby May Be the World's First to Receive a Medical ID Without a Gender

The 9-month-old baby was denied a birth certificate and the family had a difficult time accessing medical services before the ID was provided.

A Canadian baby might be the first to receive medical identification that leaves out the words “male” or “female.”

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Searyl Atli Doty, born in British Columbia last November, received health documentation in April with their sex listed as “U” – believed to mean “unknown” or "unspecified."

According to a press release, baby Searyl was born “outside the medical system” and never received a genital examination.

“It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity,” parent Kori Doty said in a press release. “I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals.”

This comes after months-long fight against Canada’s public health insurance program, Medical Services Plan, by activist group Gender-Free ID Coalition, whose agenda is to eliminate designation of gender on identification cards.

Doty, who identifies as non-binary trans, explained in an interview with CBC how harmful being assigned a gender a birth has been to them.

"When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be, and those assignments followed me and followed my identification throughout my life," Doty said. "Those assumptions were incorrect, and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then."

Searyl’s “U” designation on their Personal Health Number (PHN) card comes after months of battling against the public health system.

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The 9-month-old baby was denied a birth certificate.

Before their new PHN card showed up in the mail “without explanation,” the family had a difficult time accessing medical services for the baby without identification.

Doty and their lawyer, with the help of Gender-Free ID Coalition, are now arguing that the requirement of a gender marker on a birth certificate is a violation of Searyl’s fundamental human rights.

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