A self-declaration will be sufficient for all those over 16 years of age
Switzerland accelerates on civil liberties. From next January 1st, anyone will be able to change sex simply by presenting themselves in common to the civil registry office.
The country, therefore, follows in the footsteps of Ireland, Belgium, Portugal and Norway, deciding to allow people to legally change gender without first having to undergo hormone therapies, medical diagnoses or further assessments and bureaucratic steps. Under the new rules written in the Swiss Civil Code, anyone over 16 years of age and not under legal guardianship will be able to change their gender and legal name with a simple self-declaration. Others, on the other hand, will need the consent of the legal guardian.
This marks a change from the current set of regionally prescribed standards in Switzerland, which often require a certificate from a physician confirming transgender identity. Some cantons, on the other hand, also require that the person undergo hormone treatment or an anatomical transition to legally change the sex, while, for a name change, proof may be required that the new name is already in unofficial use by several years.
A notable breakthrough, given that Switzerland was one of the last countries in Europe to vote – last September – a rule to legalize civil marriage and the right to adopt children for same-sex couples, one of the last Western European countries to do so. With the new rules on gender change, Switzerland joins two dozen countries around the world with the goal of separating gender choice from medical procedures. While some other European nations, including Denmark, Greece, and France, have removed the requirement for medical procedures, including sex reassignment surgery, sterilization, or psychiatric evaluation, their rules require additional steps or conditions. Spain passed a bill in June that allows anyone over the age of 14 to legally change sex without a medical diagnosis or hormone therapy. Germany in 2018 became the first European government to introduce a third gender, but in June 2021 it ditched two bills aimed at introducing gender self-identification.