The mother of a transgender child wants the Saskatchewan government to remove any record of a person’s sex on birth certificates. Fran Forsberg has filed a complaint to Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Commission on behalf of her six-year-old child, Renn, after the province’s Vital Statistics Agency refused to change Renn’s sex designation from “Male” to “Female” on the youngster’s birth records. Renn was born with male genitalia but has identified as a girl since the age of three. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, children establish their gender identity between 18 to 30 months. When Forsberg sought to change Renn’s birth record, she submitted reports from a physician and psychologist confirming that Renn identifies as a female. The Vital Statistics Agency, however, was not moved. In Saskatchewan, Forsberg learned a resident can only change the sex designation on a birth certificate after undergoing sex reassignment surgery, a requirement that is considered discriminatory in the province of Ontario.
The Forsbergs decided to go public with their campaign, arguing that staying quiet only adds to stigma and discrimination. Barbara Findlay, a lawyer from Vancouver, has launched a legal challenge to have M and F removed from passports. She reasons that compared to photographs and other biometric security features, a gender marker adds little information.