A Japanese court
rejected a male-to-female transsexual's request to
change her officially registered sex because she already has
two children who were born before the operation, a
news report said Monday.
The Gifu Prefecture family court on January 16
turned down a sex-change registration request filed by
Atsuko Mizuno, 44, Kyodo News agency reported Mizuno
as saying. Gifu is located 171 miles west of Tokyo.
Mizuno said the court denied the request because
the 2004 law permitting changing one's registered sex
stipulates that the individual must be unmarried with
no children, Kyodo reported. Family court officials
declined to comment on the report, citing privacy concerns.
The 2004 law allows people to change their
registered sex if they've had a sex-change operation
and have been diagnosed by at least two doctors as
having gender-identity disorder. Applicants must be aged 20
or older, unmarried with no children, and not be able
The rationale for including the stipulation
regarding children is that children would be confused
should a parent change his or her registered sex,
according to the home page of a transgender support group
that Mizuno coheads. Mizuno filed the request because
she wanted to demonstrate "that it is the legislation
and the family court ruling that are making things
confusing," she said, according to Kyodo.
Mizuno was married and had two children before
being diagnosed with a gender-identity disorder in
2001 and undergoing a sex-change operation, the agency
said. Mizuno and the children's mother are divorced, the
A Japanese court granted a transsexual's
sex-change registration request for the first time in
July 2004, shortly after the new law was implemented.