The freedom to choose one’s gender is a legal right that is granted to every Indian citizen, irrespective of their caste and creed. When an individual feels that his or her identity does not match their birth gender, he or she can decide to undergo a gender transformation. This usually involves taking the help of medical assistance to transition to another sex. These individuals are called transsexuals. Every gender change in India must be officially notified in the weekly Gazette, published by the Department of Publication, Government of India, to have any legal validation.
LEGAL PROCEDURE FOR GENDER CHANGE IN INDIA
- CREATION OF A GENDER CHANGE AFFIDAVIT: Once an individual has decided to undergo gender transformation, they must prepare an affidavit which declares the change of gender and name (if applicable). The affidavit must follow the format as prescribed by the Department of Publication. It has to state the individual’s name, address, father’s name, age, and gender. It must be noted that all the details mentioned in the affidavit should be the same, as mentioned in the supporting identity proof documents. The affidavit must be printed on a stamp paper and notarized
- PLACING AN ADVERTISEMENT: An individual then has to place an advertisement in a leading newspaper in the city he or she lives in. The advertisement may be placed in a regional or national newspaper. The content of the newspaper advertisement must be the same as mentioned in the affidavit
- GAZETTE PROCEDURE: The duly signed application must be filed along with mandatory documents. The prescribed government fees must be paid at the time of filing. A gazette is an official magazine published by the Government and every State and the Central Government have their own version of gazettes. The said individual can notify any of these gazettes, but some Government institutions might insist on a notification in the Central Government Gazette. Usually, such public notices or advertisements from private individuals are published in Part IV of the Central Govt. Gazette
- GAZETTE PUBLICATION: After the application has been submitted, the department will review the application of the gender change notification. After the necessary approval, the same will be published in the Government e-Gazette. It may take up to 45-60 business days for the gender change notification to appear in the e-Gazette. The weekly Gazette is usually published every Saturday. One can download this from the official website. Once it is published, the applicant receives a copy of the gazette via email and a printout of the same should be taken. It must be noted that the department does not issue any physical certificate for gender change. A copy of this notification can serve as proof of gender change. This notification can be enclosed with all the government documents as proof. With this, an individual can also incorporate the required changes in their Voter Card, Aadhar Card, PAN Card etc
REJECTION OF GENDER CHANGE APPLICATION
There are some instances when the department might reject the gender change application if any of the prescribed procedures and formats are not followed. In case the gender change application is rejected, a fresh application must be filed with the department. It is advisable to seek the assistance of a legal expert from ACE ALLIANCE to ensure there are no mistakes and all the legal requirements have been followed.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR GENDER CHANGE APPLICATION
- The self-attested copies of Aadhar/Voter ID/Passport, which serve as identity proof of the applicant
- Two self-attested passport size photographs of the applicant
- A newspaper publication in which the gender-change of the applicant has been published
- A specimen proforma duly signed by the applicant and two witnesses
- A declaration which states that the contents in the application are true
- A letter of request and the registration fee by the applicant to the authority.
DOES AN INDIVIDUAL NEED WITNESSES FOR GENDER CHANGE APPLICATION?
During the gender change application, the applcant needs two witnesses. These witnesses could be family or friends. If the applicant is married, it is advisable that the spouse acts as one of the witnesses
DO I NEED TO PERFORM ANY SURGERY BEFORE APPLYING FOR A CHANGE OF GENDER?
There is no need of any surgery to make an application for gender change. An individual can make this application, whenever he or she decides to change their gender
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE OF THE LEGAL PROCESS FOR GENDER CHANGE?
It takes around 6-8 weeks for an individual to get their gender change notification published in the Gazette of India.
Once you get in touch with us at ACE ALLIANCE with your request to create file for a Gender Change application we will start the process. After our team receives all the details, our expert team of lawyers will create an affidavit and file this application with the Department of Publications, India within 2- 3 business days. Thereafter, our team will follow up with this department and complete the whole process of getting your gender change notification published in the Gazette of India within 6-8 weeks.