Ministers are reconsidering plans to make changing legal sex much easier, following concerns about the impact the changes would have on children, according to The Times.
Currently, anyone wanting to legally ‘change sex’ is required to have lived as if a member of the opposite sex for two years and be approved by a specialist panel before they can receive a Gender Recognition Certificate and a new birth certificate.
In 2018, the Government consulted on proposals to allow people to change sex simply by declaring themselves to be the opposite sex.
The consultation results has been delayed significantly amid strong opposition from women’s groups and those concerned with the impact on children, but ministers are set to publish their findings in the summer.
A Government source told The Times newspaper: “While we believe adults should be able to live their lives, and trans rights should be respected and protected, the government also has a role to play in protecting children”.
In some exceptional cases, children are currently being allowed to begin the highly controversial process of changing sex on the NHS without parental consent.
In Scotland, the SNP government says it is “determined” to push through radical changes before the next Holyrood election in 2021.
But the news from Westminster has been welcomed by critics of these plans, with the Roman Catholic church in Scotland calling it a “sensible move that should prompt the Scottish government to take stock”.
“‘named person’ mark two”
One SNP party member said the Scottish government is making a “huge error”, and warned that the plan “could become a ‘named person’ mark two”.
The Named Person scheme was a plan by the Scottish Government to give every child in Scotland a state-appointed guardian to monitor their ‘wellbeing’.
The plan was ruled unlawful in 2016 after The Christian Institute and others challenged it at the Supreme Court.
After attempts were made to patch it up it was finally axed last year.