A Win for Transgender Rhode Islanders: Self Attestation for Updating Birth Records
On this Transgender Day of Visibility, there is tremendous positive news out of Rhode Island for transgender and non-binary people. As of today, March 31, 2021, gender on Rhode Island birth certificates can be updated through a self-attestation form. This means that Rhode Islanders can change their birth certificate to align with their affirmed gender (X, F, or M) without a notarized medical professional affidavit. This significant advance is thanks to the sustained advocacy of transgender and non-binary Rhode Islanders, led by Thundermist Health Center and the Trans Action Coalition, in collaboration with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.
The updated regulation, 1.37(E)(5) reads as follows:
“For corrections to sex on the birth certificate that differ from the sex on the original birth certificate, the State Registrar shall change the certificate of birth to reflect the new sex designation, without indicating such change, upon receipt of:
a. An affidavit executed by:
(1) The registrant if of legal age; or
(2) The registrant’s parent(s), legal guardian(s) or legal representative if not of legal age . . . .”
The Rhode Island Department of Health website has not yet been updated to reflect this update, but we anticipate that it will be updated soon. We are grateful for RIDOH’s work to address the needs of transgender and non-binary Rhode Islanders. With this change, transgender and non-binary Rhode Islanders now have greater access to birth certificates that align with their affirmed gender.