The NYC Health Dept. has a new requirement for new parents looking to obtain birth certificates for their babies. A question that normally wouldn’t need to be asked is now listed on the birth certificate application. The city wants to know if the mother who gave birth is “male” or “female.” According to Fox News, city officials began making changes to the laws regarding birth certificates when same-sex marriages were legalized. The change was reportedly put in place for same-sex couples.
In the “Mother/Parent (Woman Giving Birth)” section of the birth certificate application, the city’s health department for reportedly asks, “What is your DATE OF BIRTH, current AGE and SEX?” There is also a box where parents can check, “male” or “female.” Of course, the form also includes generalized questions such as the mother’s government name, maiden name, and Social Security number. Fathers are reportedly asked the same questions. However, the father’s section of the application doesn’t have any reference to “giving birth.”
The seemingly odd question has sparked outrage among citizens and online readers. Most readers feel the question should be a “no-brainer,” and find it quite insulting to ask a woman whether she’s a male or female. However, there are others who argue that the transgender evolution actually makes the question justifiable. There have been a number of cases where people genetically born as men have given birth to children.
In 2008, Thomas Beatie made headlines when he gave birth to a daughter. Following the birth of the child, Beatie faced a similar legal battle due to complications with the child’s birth certificate and how he should be categorized. During an interview on 20/20, Beatie argued the definition of a mother and father.
“It just goes to prove that mother and father are social terms,” Beatie said. “You don’t have to be biologically related to your child to be a mother or a father.”
However, the recent debate delves a bit deeper based on arguable facts. Many readers argue that any individual capable of giving birth to a child should automatically be categorized as “female” because it is theoretically impossible for a male to give birth to a child.
Here are some of the comments.
“Actually, I can understand why they are doing this. Don’t you remember the woman in the news that started taking drugs to make her a man? Then suddenly wanted children? She’d kept her uterus. She so here she was…looking all like a man…..telling people she was a man…….and pregnant. I remember it. Ridiculous.”
“I know that science has made great strides but I did not know that it could turn a male into a female other on the outward appearance. I did not know a man could be given all the organs to conceive and support carrying the fetus to term yet.”
“You can emulate the opposite sex, but not even medical science can give a female a working sperm factory, or a male an egg reservoir. I might treat as whatever gender you wish to identify most with, but scientifically/medically, you either were born with ovaries or testes. Whichever is what you are for medical purposes.”
Do you think parents should be required to answer whether the mother is “male” or “female” to NYC birth certificates? Share your thoughts.
[Image via Think.Progress]