Lithuania is late with regulating the conditions and procedure for legal gender reassignment, although such a right is established in the Civil Code. In 2017, Lithuanian courts took a very bold step and started granting transgender persons the right to change their identity documents without the mandatory requirement of the gender reassignment surgery. There are currently more than 50 transgender people whose identity documents have been changed through the judicial procedure in Lithuania. 

In Lithuania, the process of changing identity documents is generally not that difficult. What you need is a psychiatric diagnosis of gender dysphoria (F64.0), a lawyer who is an expert in this field, and a new ID card may be in your pocket in app. 6 moths. This practice is ahead of a few European countries, in which transgender people are still required to undergo mandatory gender reassignment surgery. However, we tend to forget that legal status of transgender persons in Lithuania remains unregulated, and their problems are not limited to legal and medical procedures related to gender reassignment. 

In Lithuania, there are many by-laws (mostly orders by the Minister of Health), according to which persons of certain psychiatric conditions may not perform certain jobs or engage in certain activities. For instance, these persons cannot become customs officers, serve in the armed forces of the national defense system or adopt children. The diagnosis of gender dysphoria (F64.0) is included in all lists of prohibited conditions. Although the World Health Organization has removed this specific diagnosis from the list of mental illnesses, transgender people in Lithuania are still unable to work in seemingly neutral positions and occupations. 

By relaxing legal gender recognition, our state has unfortunately not taken any additional steps to protect transgender people from gross violations of their right to privacy. 

The current situation could be improved by adopting the Law on the Recognition of Gender Identity, which would establish the principles of non-discrimination of transgender people and mechanisms to protect their privacy.

Legal Gender Recognition