For the first time, a Supreme Court ruling that gender recognition should be allowed for transgender people with minor children came out.
Supreme Court full bench decision indicated on Thursday, in the retrial of the family register correction application filed by Mr. A, saying, “Please change the gender on the family relation certificate from ‘male’ to ‘female,’” the lower court dismissing Mr. A’s application was overturned sent back to the Seoul Family Court. In the opinion of 11 out of 12 Supreme Court Justices. “If a transgender person is not currently married, gender recognition should not be denied just because he or she has a minor child,” the Supreme Court said. The rationale for such a decision is that the basic rights of transgender people and the protection of minor children should be balanced, considering various circumstances comprehensively, and leaving room for gender recognition.
Mr. A, who married in 2012 and had two children, divorced his wife in June 2018 due to gender identity issues. Mr. A underwent sex reassignment surgery in Thailand in November of the same year. In 2019, Mr. A applied to the court to correct his gender as female, but both the first and second trials were rejected on the grounds that Mr. A has a minor child. According to a Supreme Court ruling in 2011, gender recognition is not allowed if minor children are involved.
The Supreme Court cited that transgender people have the legal right to have their sex confirmed according to their gender identity as the reasons for their decision and that gender recognition does not result in significant changes in their relationship with their children. An official from the Supreme Court explained the background of the ruling, saying, "The denial of gender recognition, even if there is no marital relationship, causes transgender people to ignore the exclusion and suffering they experience as a minority, causing social discrimination and prejudice to become more fixed and internalized."
Oh-Hyuk Kwon firstname.lastname@example.org