File a petition to recognize your child’s gender change

Once you complete your forms, you need to file them with the court and pay a filing fee. If neither of you can afford the fee, you can ask the court to waive it.

How to file forms with the court

  • Take your forms to the court clerk

    File the forms in any superior court in California. If you live in California, it can be the court in the county where you or your child live but doesn't have to be. Find a court where civil cases are filed.  

    At the courthouse, file the forms you filled out by giving the original and the copies to the clerk.

    The clerk will stamp the forms, keep the original and return the copies to you.

    Yes, you can file by mail. Mail the original and copy to the clerk. You need to include the filing fee (or request for fee waiver) and a self-addressed stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copy back to you. Make sure to include enough postage. If you do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope, you will have to go to the courthouse to pick up your copies.

    Some courts allow online filing (called e-filing). You can find out if your court has online filing on your court's website.


  • Pay a filing fee

    You’ll need to pay a fee of $435-$450 to the clerk when you file your forms.

    If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the clerk for a fee waiver. Keep in mind that because both of you are filing together as parents, you both would have to qualify for the fee waiver. You may qualify for a fee waiver if:

    • You receive public benefits
    • Your income is less than a set amount
    • You can’t afford the fee and meet your basic needs
  • Ask the clerk about your court's next steps

    Find out how to pick up a copy of the signed order after a 6-week waiting period. 

    You must wait for 6 weeks to see if anyone objects to your request. If no one files a written objection within 6 weeks, your request will be granted without a court hearing. The judge will sign the order recognizing your child's gender change.


    To file an objection, someone would have to first know about your request, which generally requires looking up your court records. If someone did, they could file an objection, but only for "good cause." Good cause means there's a valid legal reason to disagree with your request.

    If someone does file an objection, the judge may set a court date (a hearing).  At the hearing, you will have a chance to respond to the objection. If the judge does set a court date, you will get a notice in the mail with the court date and time. 


Change a child’s gender without a name change

What's next?

Once you’ve filed your forms, you must wait 6 weeks to see if anyone files a written objection. If not, the judge will sign your request.

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