December 10, 2014

FaegreBD Pro Bono Lawyers Successful in Litigation to Amend Birth Certificate Gender Marker

Attorneys from Faegre Baker Daniels and the Transgender Law Center successfully represented a transgender man seeking to change the gender marker on his Indiana birth certificate.

The plaintiff, referred to throughout the case as John Doe, was assigned the female sex at birth, but has long identified as a male. When he tried to change the gender marker on his Indiana birth certificate in 2012, the Department of Health informed him he must present a court order recognizing his change of gender before a change could be made to the birth certificate. He filed a petition in state trial court seeking an order to have his male gender recognized. The trial court denied the petition, ruling that it did not have the authority under state law to issue such an order.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed on Dec. 4, 2014, in a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel. The case was remanded to the trial court with instructions to issue an order directing the Department of Health to amend the plaintiff's birth certificate to reflect his male gender.

The Court's decision establishes that a transgender person who in good faith seeks to change the gender marker on the person's birth certificate is entitled to a court order directing that change.

Jon Laramore, business litigation partner, and Harmony Mappes, business litigation associate, represented Doe and collaborated with the Transgender Law Center throughout the process.

Read Transgender Law Center's press release.
Marylee Moore

Director of Communications

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