At Least One Child A Day Alters The Gender Of Their Title By Deed Poll, Figures Show

"The majority are teenagers, but they go down to the age of 10."

There’s been a sharp rise in the number of children altering the gender of their title by deed poll in the past five years, new figures suggest.

Children as young as 10 are switching their title through the private UK Deed Poll Service, with parents paying the £35 to change it from “Miss” to “Master” or vice versa.

“We used to issue a couple of these deed polls every couple of months, but now it’s seven to 10 a week,” said Louise Bowers, a senior deed poll officer. “The majority are teenagers, 14 or 15, but they go down to the age of 10.”

Bowers said there are more “Misses to Masters”, than “Masters to Misses”, despite this previously being the other way round.

As well as changing their title, she said some children will have their first names tweaked (such as Joe to Jo), while others will choose an entirely new name.

There have also been a couple of people requesting reversals of title change, Bowers said after their 16th birthday, Bowers said.

In 2017, it was revealed that the number of children being referred to gender identity clinics had quadrupled in the past five years.

Figures from the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), the NHS facility for transgender children in London, showed 84 children aged between three and seven were referred in 2016, compared to 20 in 2012/13.

In 2018, the government’s Equality Office estimated that there are approximately 200,000-500,000 trans people in the UK, although they are researching whether and how to develop this estimate.

You can find out more about changing a name or title by deed poll here.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity | 01527 894 838
  • Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences for young people with gender identity issues | 0808 801 0400
  • LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT people in Scotland. Text 07786 202 370
  • Gires provides information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them | 01372 801554
  • Depend provides support, advice and information for anyone who knows, or is related to, a transsexual person in the UK