‘Let 12-year-olds change legal sex’, says Scots kids charity

A children’s charity has told the Scottish Government that its plans to allow children to change legal sex by self-identification do not go far enough.

Government proposals are expected to sweep away current safeguards – removing the need for any medical evidence, reducing the two-year waiting period to three months and even extending sex swaps to 16-year-olds.

But Children in Scotland (CIS) is calling for children as young as twelve years of age to be able to apply for a gender recognition certificate without parental permission.

Exclude parents

CIS described the recommended three month period of ‘reflection’ as “arbitrary” and “unnecessary”, and said it “could have negative effects on trans young people’s mental health”.

It added: “We would prefer a move towards a formalised self-identification model where people can legally change gender at a time chosen by them.”

The children’s charity also said: “We believe this process should also be self-declaratory and should not require parental consent.”


Women’s rights group For Women Scotland (FWS) described the CIS submission to the Scottish Government’s consultation as “extraordinary”.

Speaking to The Sunday Times Scotland, FWS said: “As the number of detransitioners rises, it is downright irresponsible to hurry vulnerable children, some as young as 12 years old, into decisions at what is often a confusing period.”

CIS received over £2.7m in grants from the Scottish Government during the financial year ending March 2021, amounting to more than 70 per cent of its total income.


In September, results from a Scottish Government consultation on the issue confirmed there were significant objections to its plans, and hundreds of people gathered outside Holyrood to protest against them.

Last year, a poll of over 1,000 Scottish adults found that 71 per cent believed people wishing to change legal sex should be assessed by a medical professional first, with only 29 per cent in favour of self-identification.

Also see:


Poll: Majority of Scots oppose gender self-ID

Scot Govt ignores opposition to pursue gender self-ID plans

Scot Govt’s gender self-ID plans based on ‘dangerous ideology’

Chorus of disapproval over Scot Govt trans guidance for schools

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