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