Republic of the Philippines, Petitioner
Jennifer Cagandahan, Respondent
Jennifer Cagandahan was registered as a female in her Certificate of Live Birth. During her childhood years, she suffered from clitoral hypertrophy and was later on diagnosed that her ovarian structures had minimized. She likewise has no breast nor menstruation. Subsequently, she was diagnosed of having Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), a condition where those afflicted possess secondary male characteristics because of too much secretion of male hormones, androgen. According to her, for all interests and appearances as well as in mind and emotion, she has become a male person. She filed a petition at Regional Trial Court Branch 33 in Siniloan, Laguna for Correction of Entries in her Birth Certificate such that her gender or sex be changed to male and her first name be changed to Jeff.
ISSUE: Whether or not correction of entries in her birth certificate should be granted.
The Court considered the compassionate calls for recognition of the various degrees of intersex as variations which should not be subject to outright denial. Supreme Court is of the view that where the person is biologically or naturally intersex the determining factor in his gender classification would be what the individual, having reached the age of majority, with good reason thinks of his/her sex. As in this case, respondent, thinks of himself as a male and considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones, there is preponderant biological support for considering him as being a male. Sexual development in cases of intersex persons makes the gender classification at birth inconclusive. It is at maturity that the gender of such persons, like respondent, is fixed.
Supreme Court: " In so ruling we do no more than give respect to (1) the diversity of nature; and (2) how an individual deals with what nature has handed out. In other words, we respect respondent’s congenital condition and his mature decision to be a male. Life is already difficult for the ordinary person. We cannot but respect how respondent deals with his unordinary state and thus help make his life easier, considering the unique circumstances in this case."