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Costa Rica, Edificio Sigma 2do piso, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, costado oeste del Mall San PedroCosta Rica, Oficinas Republic 2do Piso, Centro comercial Santa Verde, Heredia, La Aurora
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Birth certificates have to reflect the parents’ self-perceived gender

At CELIG we have successfully taken legal steps to protect the gender identity of our clients. One of them is the protection of the parents’ self-perceived gender on the birth certificate of a minor.

Principle 24 of the Yogyakarta +10 Principles stipulates that States should “Issue birth certificates for children upon birth that reflect the self-defined gender identity of the parents”. This means that birth certificates must reflect the gender with which the father or mother self-identifies and not his/her sex assigned at birth.

Respect for gender identity has been gradually implemented in Costa Rica since OC-24/17, which means that there may be situations in which a trans person has a son or daughter with their partner, but there is no legal document that supports this. In these cases, steps can be taken before the Civil Registry via a procedure called ocurso to correct these situations.

Recently at CELIG we had the case of a couple made up of a cisgender woman and a trans man. The cisgender woman was the biological parent of the child. However, the couple had raised this child as theirs from the beginning. There was no document to support that the trans man was his father, so it was necessary to take steps to protect the human rights of the family.

At CELIG we filed request to change the name of the trans man. Later we filed a petition so that the child’s birth certificate would indicate that the trans man was his father. Both filings were successful.

As the child’s birth certificate reflects the self-perceived gender of his father and mother, protection is being given to two basic human rights: the right to gender identity and the right to form a family without discrimination, which are protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and the Yogyakarta Principles +10.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you want more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 4800-0248 or write to us at

We are located in San José, Barrio Escalante.

M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation