According to a bill, the Federal Ministry of Justice wants to ban operations that change the gender of children. Interventions on the internal and external gender characteristics should only be permitted if the child's health is at risk.
Children who are born without clear gender characteristics are operated on frequently in Germany, although the intervention is not medically necessary, the draft says. Often parents and doctors wanted to protect children from social problems – but nobody could predict a child's sexual development so early. The decision should be postponed until the child "has the necessary maturity to make its own decision".
With the approval of the family court, 14-year-olds should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to be operated on. The court grants approval if the child and parents agree and the decision does not contradict the best interests of the child.
How many children could be affected is unclear, since births of babies with ambiguous sex are not statistically recorded in Germany. The Federal Constitutional Court assumed in 2017 that around one in 500 newborns is affected, but there are also studies that show a significantly lower frequency.