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UK birth registration and its present discontents

Higgs, EJ (2018) 'UK birth registration and its present discontents.' Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online, 5. pp. 35-37. ISSN 2405-6618

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Calls for reform of the United Kingdom (UK) birth registration system to allow it to be more flexible regarding subsequent name changes, gender recording and to contain information about 'third parties' involved in procreation are justified and important. However, we need to ask exactly when discussions about the birth registration system in the country became primarily about the welfare of the individual child being registered? This was hardly the case at the system's inception in 1836, or during much of its history. In addition, it is also interesting how far calls for reform show the extent to which those involved have internalized the norms of the bureaucratic state – hence, people seem to feel that they have been 'living a lie' because of the gender on their birth certificate. Also, how do we understand 'privacy' in the context of birth registration when some people are desperate to publically proclaim their new gender status, whilst others are eager to maintain privacy with regard to their genealogy? Overall, the problems of birth registration reflect the broader muddle of identification in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Births; Registration; identification; privacy; history
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:48

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