Israel: Minimum age for gender confirmation surgery lowered to 18

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Israel has lowered the minimum age to proceed with gender confirmation surgery from 21 to 18, officials have announced.

Haaretz reports the new regulations mean people wishing to go through with the procedure must live a minimum of one year with their new gender identity.

The previous policy stated that a person must be 21 and live a minimum of two years with their new gender – this lead to protests from Israel’s transgender community causing the regulations to be altered.

Requests for the procedure will now be decided by a newly-regulated committee made up of a psychologist, endocrinologist, gynecologist, urologist and representative of the transgender community.

Under the new system, the use of hormones will no longer be mandatory for undergoing the operation; the decision will be left to the special committee.

The Health Ministry in Israel now fully recognises gender confirmation surgery as part of a requirement of the country’s health care system. But due to lack of expertise, patients will still have to leave Israel for treatment.

The last procedure that took place in Israel was in 2012.