Norway has allowed children as young as 6 years to legally change their gender by filling out an online form. Under the country's new law, the children only need parental approval. Changing gender will not require doctor's consent, counseling, and surgery.
The law was passed by a majority 79-13 votes in the Norwegian parliament in June.
Similar laws have been adopted in several other countries, but Norwegian law also includes children. Other countries to have allowed gender change for children include Argentina and Malta.
However, Malta laws require parents to seek court permission before a child can legally change gender. But in Norway, children can fill out the gender-change form online for which only parental consent is required.
People, including children, are only required to return a mailed letter after submitting the form to confirm their decision. After approval, a new national identification number is provided to the applicants, which allows them to make changes to their passport, birth certificate, credit cards, and driver's license, among other documents.
About 250 Norwegians, and 10 minors have applied for gender change. Their applications have all been accepted by the government.
"I have met several young people who have told me that this new law is making their lives easier. Several have come out of a dark place," said Norwegian Health Minister Bent Hoie.
Similar law has been passed in Denmark so that people are allowed to change their genders without having to undergo sex-change surgeries.
However, critics of the law say that making this option available to children is akin to giving them the idea that gender can be changed without any serious thought.
"It appears very likely that adults are suggesting these ideas to the children. So this drastic measure, implemented so flippantly, is entirely inappropriate," said, Robert Lopez, who heads the International Children's Rights Institute, told The Christian Post. "It feels like manipulation of children, not a way of showing compassion to them."