NSW Launches Rainbow Birth Certificates To Celebrate Mardi Gras

NSW Launches Rainbow Birth Certificates To Celebrate Mardi Gras
Image: Sydney-based artist Monica Higgins designed the NSW's commemorative Rainbow birth certificates.

If you have always wanted a Rainbow Birth certificate, now might be the time to get one. NSW government on Wednesday announced that they were launching commemorative Rainbow birth certificates as part of the 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival celebrations. 

“The launch of our Rainbow certificate provides a special way for people to celebrate the birth of a new family member and uplift and empower the LGBTIQA+ community,”  said NSW Registrar Amanda Lanna in a statement.

Lanna revealed that the government conducted a ‘Have Your Say’ survey, which showed overwhelming support for a birth certificate with a Rainbow design. 

A Gift For Rainbow Families

NSW launched Rainbow birth certificates to commemorate the 2022 Sydney Mardi Gras. Image: Supplied

The colourful and exquisitely designed birth certificate shows genderless native animals as Rainbow families enjoying Sydney’s iconic landmarks. 

“I’ve removed gender from the focus of the illustration to give our rainbow families the freedom to be seen as they wish to be,” said Sydney-based artist, illustrator and animator Monica Higgins, who designed the birth certificates. 

Higgins, who identifies as queer, pledged $1 from the sale of each commemorative Rainbow birth certificate to Twenty10. “It is so important to me that LGBTQIA+ youth feel safe, validated and understand that they are not alone, and Twenty10 do an excellent job of making this happen,” Higgins added.

The Rainbow certificate joins the list of other commemorative birth certificates, including Indigenous artwork, the Chinese zodiac, NRL and Rugby Union teams, Australian Classics, baby handprints, May Gibbs illustrations and Peppa Pig.

Birth Certificate Reforms Pending In NSW

The commemorative birth certificates, which are keepsakes and not proof of identity documents,  can be ordered online for those born or adopted in NSW. 

LGBTQI activists have been calling on the NSW government to initiate birth certificate reforms. NSW is one of the few jurisdictions in Australia that requires transgender people to undergo gender affirmation surgery to change the sex marker on their birth certificates.

In 2020, Victoria enforced its new rules, which allowed trans persons to change the recorded sex on their birth certificates without having to undergo a sex affirmation surgery. The same year, Victoria also amended rules to allow a child’s birth registration to recognise both parents as “mother” or “father” or “parent”.


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