Finland Could Be About to End the Forced Sterilization of Trans People

A trans person must ‘have been sterilized or is “for some other reason infertile”‘.

The Finnish government will review it’s gender recognition laws on 25 August.

Trans people must be sterilized currently before they’re able to have their gender changed legally.

The Human Rights Council has long been recommending the rule be abolished.

They set out two suggestions for Finland, explaining they needed to revise their Trans Act. They needed to abolish the need for ‘ sterilization, other medical treatment, and a mental health diagnosis.’

The HRC also suggests Finland ‘develop a gender recognition procedure that is quick, transparent, based on self-determination, and available irrespective of age, medical or financial status.’

On 25 August Finland will decide whether to accept these recommendations.

The law does not allow people to legally transition until they’re 18. Tthe process can take anywhere up to three years.

Diagnosis of ‘transsexualism’

Finland’s Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals requires people to ‘have been sterilized or is “for some other reason infertile”‘ before their legal gender can be changed.

They must also undergo extensive mental health screenings.

Someone wanting to legally change their gender must also get a diagnosis of ‘transsexualism’ specifically.

Non-binary trans people would be diagnosed with ‘other gender disorders.’ This is because they do not conform to a binary gender. This would exclude them from accessing legal gender recognition.

Finland is not the only country to require sterilization. Other countries that have the same rule are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.