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Gender Autonomy

Gender Autonomy

The Act on Gender Autonomy No. 80/2019 provides for the right of persons to define their own gender, thereby aiming at
guaranteeing the recognition of their gender identity. The objective of this Act is also to guard the rights of persons to physical integrity.  

Right to Neutral Gender Registration

Every person, from the age of 15, has the right to change their gender registration in Registers Iceland. A child under the age of 15 may, with the assistance of its guardians, change its official gender registration. A child that does not have the support of one or both of its guardians in changing its gender registration may submit a request for a change of registered gender to an expert committee and have the registration changed if the committee accepts the request. The Act requires public and private bodies that register gender shall provide for the possibility of registering gender as neutral, inter alia in identity documents, forms and databases.

Right to Physical Integrity

Permanent changes to genitals, gonads or other sex characteristics of persons 16 years of age or older are prohibited without their written consent. Furthermore, in cases involving children aged between 16 and 18, an assessment is needed from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Department team on gender identity pursuant to Article 13 of the Act, to confirm that it is in the best interests of the child to perform the surgical operation.

Children born with atypical sex characteristics shall have the right to physical integrity in relation to their sex characteristics and the right to receive the best health care available at any given time. In implementing the Act, care shall be taken to respect their right to self-determination regarding personal matters

Permanent changes to the sex characteristics of a child born with atypical sex characteristics shall only be made in conformity with the will of the child.

If a child under the age of 16 is unable to give its consent due to its young age or is for other reasons unable to express its will, the child’s sex characteristics may be changed if so required for health reasons, following a detailed assessment of the need for such changes and of their consequences in the short and long term. Social, psychosocial and appearance related reasons shall not be regarded as health reasons.

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