Since the beginning of the year 2019 a new name law has come into effect. The law is intended to follow a fairly liberal interpretation on gender issues. The registry offices have created their own internal guidelines under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice. This document examines the most important aspects of the minority law within the name law.
When you change your name to match your gender identity, it should be easier for you to succeed.
- The change can be made electronically if there is no regulatory consideration (in Finnish and Swedish).
- More often than earlier, judging is done at the registry office instead of the name board.
- When you change your name on basis of gender identity, gender expression or gender features,
- The name can be a male, a female, a gender neutral or all of them mixed, up to four names in total
- No need to worry about listing gender-neutral names
- The list of gender-neutral names is quite permissive overall, for example the name does not become gendered if its number of ‘second gender’ holders is reduced to less than five
- Legal identity in line with the strengthening of gender is not required, “a reliable demonstration” of the need for change is enough
- A 15-year-old can use independent opinion and their position is critical in the event of a conflict. They can also be heard on the matter alone if the caretaker is not reached.
However, not everyone will go according to all wishes:
- The change is free of charge only in connection of the strengthening of the legal gender. Otherwise 1 change costs 45 € and the second change is more expensive.
- “Reliable demonstration” of gender identity is something that has not yet been tested.
- In the case of a child under the age of 15, their guardian or other legal representative might not be in favor of the child. Adults might not support the child’s identity.