Q: One of our parishes has a transgender teen seeking confirmation. No one, but the pastor, is aware of this child’s circumstances. The family is seeking to legally change the gender on the birth certificate. The teen was baptized as an infant in a parish other than where confirmation will be received. The dilemma is how to record the sacrament in the parish registry as the name of the individual will now be different from baptism and eucharist?
Even though, I am inquiring about a teen – this could easily be the situation for first Eucharist and RCIA, going forward, as well. Any help you can give would be appreciated.
A: I’ll give you an opinion, but I suggest you ask your local canonists how to handle this.
When you record the confirmation in your parish, if the candidate has a new legal name, record it, but add a notation giving the name that appears on the baptismal record in the church of baptism. That should suffice to link the records.
If the family approaches the church of baptism for changes to the record there, the original record needs to be preserved. A notation may be added pertaining to the change of legal name. My guess is that dioceses will not authorize a change to the sex of the child in the baptismal register, but I leave that to local canonists to sort out.