Gender recognition
Gender recognition

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Gender recognition
  • Background
  • Application for a gender recognition certificate under GRA 2004, s 1
  • Protected marriages or civil partnerships
  • Alternative grounds for granting applications
  • Appeals and registration
  • The effect of a GRC
  • Amendments to GRA 2004 as to same-sex marriage
  • Applications by married persons and civil partners
  • Alternative grounds for granting a GRC
  • More...

This Practice Note details the procedure for applying for a gender recognition certificate (GRC) under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA 2004), the process for appeals and registration and the effect of a GRC. It also considers how an application will be determined by a Gender Recognition Panel, requirements as to medical evidence and amendments to GRA 2004 made by the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (M(SSC)A 2013) and the Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/1458.


The enactment of GRA 2004 on 4 April 2004 followed two decisions in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR): Goodwin v UK and I v UK. In Goodwin the ECtHR made it clear that the denial of the right of post-operative transsexuals to change their birth registration to record their reassigned sex, and the denial of their right to marry a person of the opposite sex to that reassigned gender, constituted breaches of arts 8 and 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In addition, that the situation no longer fell within the UK's margin of appreciation.

On 3 July 2018, the government issued a consultation on the reform of GRA 2004 following responses to a government survey that indicated that the current process is ‘too bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive’. The consultation closed on 22 October 2018. On 22 September 2020, the Minister for

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