Act on Legal Recognition of Gender enters into force on 3 April 2023
Transgender legislation will be reformed. The legal recognition of gender will be separated from medical examinations and treatments. The Act on Legal Recognition of Gender will enter into force on 3 April 2023. At the same time, the Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals will be repealed.
The new Act will improve the realisation of the right to self-determination, personal integrity, non-discrimination and the right to private life. The eligibility criteria for legal gender recognition will no longer include medical examination or diagnosis or infertility.
Application will be based on a person’s own account of their experience of gender
A person's gender can be recognised to be other than the one recorded in the population information system if they present an account explaining that they permanently identify as the gender they are seeking the recognition for. The person must have reached the age of majority and have Finnish citizenship or a place of residence in Finland.
The application for legal gender recognition will be based on the person’s own account of their experience of gender. The person must submit a written application to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, which will then inform them of the application process and the legal effects of gender recognition. After receiving the information, the applicant will need to confirm their application, however, no earlier than 30 days after the application became pending.
The purpose of this application procedure is to ensure that the person is making an informed choice and has considered their application carefully.
Other legislation will apply largely according to legally recognised gender
The legally recognised gender must be considered the person’s gender when applying other legislation, unless otherwise provided. This provision aims to ensure that everyone is treated according to their gender identity. For example, conscription will be based on the person's legally recognised gender.
The Act contains separate provisions on the application of certain gender-related provisions, for example on the provision of health services, to persons whose gender has been legally recognised.
By amending legislation, it will also be possible to change the parenthood designation to correspond to the legally recognised gender.
However, the provision on changing the parenthood designation will not be applied until 1 March 2024 due to the required implementation measures.
Sonja Jantunen, Senior Specialist, [email protected]
Decision documents are available in Finnish on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Legal recognition of gender (Digital and Population Data Services Agency), available in Finnish and Swedish