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Argentina: New Law on Transgender Rights Approved

(May 16, 2012) On May 9, 2012, the Congress of Argentina passed a law that recognizes the right to gender identity based on an individual's own feelings. The free development of the individual's identity may include the alteration of the person's appearance or of his or her body functions through pharmacological or surgical means. (Ya es ley el Proyecto que reconoce la “identidad de Género,” IPROFESIONAL.COM (May 10, 2012).)

Gender identity, according to the law, is “the internal and individual experience of one's own gender according to each person's feelings, which may or may not correspond to the sex the person had when he or she was born … .” (Id.)

Under the new legislation, any person older than 18 years of age may request an amendment to his or her records in the civil registry in regard to his or her sex, name, and image when it does not coincide with his or her own perceived gender identity. The person may instead be recognized in official documents and records by the chosen gender. (Id.) In order to have the official documents amended, the individual does not need to prove that he or she underwent sex change surgery or hormone treatments. (Id.)

Minors under the age of 18 need their parents' or legal representative's consent in order to have their gender changed. If the parents want the child's gender to be changed, they need the child's consent; without it, , the law requires the intervention of a judge to guarantee that the rights of the minor are protected. (Id.)

Once the registration has been completed, the individual will be issued a new identity card and a new birth certificate. (Id.)

Anyone older than 18 will have the right to free surgical operations or comprehensive hormone treatments in order to adapt their body to their true gender identity, without court authorization. Health plans must include this type of treatment and operations in their coverage. (Id.)