Does the status quo have to remain? The current legal issues of transsexualism in Poland

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2020 Mar;29(3):409-417. doi: 10.17219/acem/115294.


Transsexual persons often undergo the process of transition, which is a long, multi-stage procedure. One of the stages, often final, is the lawful reassignment of sex, which is often perceived by transsexual individuals as more meaningful than the medical interventions. The aim of the study was to analyze the current legal situation of transsexual individuals in Poland. An in-depth review of legal documents and their association with current medical knowledge on transsexualism together with a presentation of solutions established worldwide were performed. Analyzed aspects include surgical interventions, sex assignment and correction of birth certificate. The current legal situation of lawful sex reassignment in Poland is complex and far from friendly towards transsexual people. Recent attempts to improve the situation were unsuccessful and current strategies to help transsexual people seem to be ineffective. Apart from the medico-legal problems, a number of issues connected with transgenderism depend on the socio-political views. The most notable drawback of the currently binding judicial procedure of legal sex change is the requirement of suing parents, spouse and children. This could be avoided if the change was performed in a non-litigious mode of proceedings, in which the medical criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) and an opinion of a strictly regulated team of experts were central factors.

Keywords: patient advocacy; sex reassignment procedures; transsexualism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Poland
  • Sex Reassignment Procedures*
  • Transgender Persons / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Transsexualism*