Parents or a guardian may apply to change a child’s record of sex. If they do, they must attach a supporting statement (‘statement’) from an authorised person.
This page provides information to assist an authorised person to complete a statement.
Statement to support a child
The statement supports the application to change the child’s record of sex on their birth certificate or on a recognised details certificate, if the child was not born in Victoria.
In the statement, the authorised person states that in their opinion:
- The change is in the best interests of the child; and
- If the child is under 16 years, the child has capacity to consent to the change.
If the child is 16 years or over, the authorised person does not have to state that in their opinion the child has capacity to consent.
The statement must be made at the time of application and submitted with the application. (Note that a child may change their record of sex once every 12 months.) The statement also recognises the different capacities of children to understand their decisions.
Only an authorised person can make a statement.
The law does not oblige anyone to make a statement; a person can decline.
You must be an authorised person
To complete a statement, you must be an authorised person. This means you must be either:
- A doctor
- A psychologist
- An adult who has known the child for at least 12 months (and who is not the child’s parent or guardian).
A doctor or psychologist does not have to have known the child for at least 12 months.
Information required in your statement
The statement must include your opinion about whether:
- The change of the child’s record of sex is in the child’s best interests
- The child has capacity to consent (if under 16) to the change of their record of sex.
The child’s best interests
In assessing the child’s best interests, you should consider a number of matters including their:
- Views, autonomy and identity. For example, consider:
How the child views their own gender, and the importance of supporting them in expressing that identity.
‘Well-being’ encompasses the child’s safety, emotions, comfort, and happiness.
- Rights to health and education
All children have a right to health and education. Consider how the child’s identity might affect their access to health services and education.
The child’s capacity to consent
A child can record their consent in the application. Children aged 12 or over are encouraged to do this.
You may gauge the child’s capacity to consent by asking the child to explain in their own words (verbal or other):
- What it means to them to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate or on a recognised details certificate
- What they understand will be the impact of changing the sex recorded on their birth certificate or on a recognised details certificate. The child should be able to communicate their decision and their reasons.
Children understand and communicate their decision in different ways. You should support the child to understand and communicate in a way that is appropriate for them. This could depend on factors such as the child’s:
- Developmental stage
- Level of maturity
- Whether the child has a disability that may impact their ability to communicate.