Germany has become the first country to allow children born with both male and female characteristics to register as neither male nor female on their birth certificates, BBC News reported.
The new law, which will allow parents to leave blank the gender category on a child’s birth certificate, is meant to relieve pressure on parents to quickly choose a gender for children born with a mix of male or female chromosomes – or children who have genitalia with characteristics of both genders.
Many children born with this condition undergo surgery to ensure that their genitalia reflect their assigned gender, according to the BBC. The law in Germany was changed after case studies revealed that many children assigned a gender at birth experienced great unhappiness later in life.
"I am neither a man nor a woman. I will remain the patchwork created by doctors, bruised and scarred," said one person studied.
According to the country’s interior ministry, German passports will also allow people to forego a male (M) or female (F) designation for a third option – X.
It remains unclear how the new policy will affect marriage laws in the country, which currently only defines marriage as being between a man and woman.