Skip navigation and jump to content
Welcome to Ireland's Youth Information Website
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Snapchat

Accessibility Options

High Contrast Text Size

The Gender Recognition Bill, what is it?

Moving video from TENI about the bill and its limitations

Written by Maire Rowland and posted in life

Share this article -


The Gender Recognition Bill has now been discussed by the cabinet and will move on to committee stage. Back in January, when the bill was being debated in the Seanad, Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) produced a moving and informative video about what this legislation means to the trans community and why they feel it does not go far enough.

What does the Gender Recognition Bill include?

This bill will make a significant difference to the lives of transgender people in Ireland. For the first time ever in Ireland trans people will be issued with a gender recognition certificate which will....

  • recognise their preferred gender in all circumstances by the State, i.e banks, government institutions. This means that transgender individuals will not have to explain themselves over and over. They will finally be recognised for who they are by Ireland.
  • mean that they may marry a person of the opposite gender or the same gender.
  • mean that transgender people will be entitled to a new birth certificate that will include their preferred gender and their new name (if they decide to change their name).

What changes have been made to the bill?

Since the time when the bill had been originally drafted, many of its issues have been addressed, including:

  • the forced divorce clause, that would require married trans* people to divorce before obtaining gender recognition, has now been removed. 
  • a supporting statement from a psychiatrist or endocrinologist will no longer be required to obtain gender recognition for people over 18.

What are the limitations of the bill?

This bill is hugely important for members of the trans* community. However there are many, including TENI, Senator Jillian Van Turnhout, and Senator Katherine Zappone, that feel that this legislation does not go far enough. Crucially, the bill does not allow for younger transgender people and children to obtain gender recognition.

  • Only those over the age of 18 can change their gender and name on their birth certificate. Those aged betweent 16 and 17 can avail of the gender recognition certificate with permission from their parents or guardians and approval from their main medical specialist as well as an independent medical specialist. There is no provision for those under 16 to have their true gender recognised. 

The Gender Recognition Bill is clearly a step in the right direction for Ireland but there are deficiencies in the proposed legislation that will continue to inhibit the lives of trans community and their desire to be accepted for who they are.

Share this article -

Published January 22nd, 2015
Last updated August 13th, 2015
Tags lgbt trans wellbeing mental health law
Can this be improved? Contact if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

Youth Work Ireland - Crosscare - YMCA

Contact via: Phone E-mail Text
By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions. ​Please note that this service is run by Youth Work Ireland and Crosscare​.​ E​nquiries are not handled by directly.
Jump to related articles
Was this article helpful?