Changing birth certificates not an easy process for transgender individuals

AUSTIN, Texas - The controversial "Bathroom Bill" is headed to the Texas House, after getting final approval in the senate. Senate Bill 6 would require everyone to use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificate.

One possible way around it, that came up during the debate in Austin, would be for transgendered people to change the sex on their birth certificates.

"It was long process, it was a long process,” said Dee Dee Waters, a transgender business owner.

Changing your name and sex in Harris County is not an easy task. Waters went through the process to change her birth certificate.

"For me, the real benefit was that I had a judge with a "D" behind their name,” said Waters.

Even on the State Senate floor, lawmakers debated the politics of different courtrooms.

"Are you aware Senator that routinely in Harris County, judges deny someone with that application,” said State Sen. John Whitmire, (D) Houston.

But what does it take to get an application approved?

We went to the Harris County Clerk's Office of Personal Records to find out. You can pick up a form here, but first you must get a court order from a judge.

It's in Austin where the birth certificates are officially changed.

Over the last few years, state officials told us they've only had a few dozen applications: 48 applications four years ago in 2013, down to 34 in 2016.

"I feel like they are saying, 'Hey, just go get your birth certificate updated and get the correct gender on there' but there's still going to be the problem, right? Because do you happen to have your birth certificate on you?" said Waters.

To get that court order, KHOU 11 legal expert Gerald Treece says you'll need an attorney.

He says the requirements in place are to make sure people aren't just changing their name to run away from a criminal record.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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