On 24 November 2015, it was reported that more than 80% of the National Assembly voted in favour of legislation recognizing transgender people and lifting a ban on gender reassignment surgery, allowing those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery to change their gender marker and be accorded the ‘personal rights in accordance with their new sex’. [R1.7] The law will come into effect on 01 January 2017 [R1.6].
Decree No. 88/2008/ND-CP regulates sex reassignment procedures [D1.5].
Article 1. Scope of regulation and subjects of application
1. This Decree provides for sex assignment for persons with congenital sex defects or of unidentifiable sex (only).
2. This Decree applies to domestic and foreign organizations and individuals in Vietnam.
Article 7 provides:
1. A dossier of request for sex reassignment comprises:
a/ An application for sex reassignment, made according to a form set by the Minister of Health. In case of sex reassignment for a person aged under 16 years, that persons parent or guardian shall make a written request; for a person aged between full 16 years and under 18 years, his/her application must be also signed by his/her parent or guardian:
b/ A valid copy of the birth certificate, identity card, household status registration book or passport.
2. Procedures for requesting sex reassignment:
a/ The person requesting sex reassignment shall send a dossier of request for sex reassignment to the medical examination and treatment establishment licensed to conduct medical interventions for sex reassignment;
b/ After receiving the dossier, the medical examination and treatment establishment shall consider and reply to the requesting person within 15 working days after receiving the written request. If refusing the request, it shall issue a written reply stating the reason.
On 22 February 2013, the Ministry of Justice reportedly ordered the local government in Binh Phuoc province to halt their decision to reverse their recognition of intersex teacher Pham Le Quynh Tram’s gender, to await Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s decision on the matter [R1.4].
On 21 January 2013, the Binh Phuoc province’s People’s Committee concluded that recognition of Pham Le Quynh Tram as a transgender woman is illegal and proposed the 2009 sex-redefining decision be revoked [R1.3].
According to lawyer Nguyen Huu The Trach, those who want to re-define their sex have to comply with two conditions: first, they get examined by a province or city-level medical council; second, they undergo a transgender surgery at an authorized hospital [R1.2].
On 05 November 2009, the administration of a town in Binh Phuoc province granted the application of Pham Van Hiep to re-define her sex from male to female and to change her name to Pham Le Quynh Tram, becoming the first transgender in Vietnam to recognized by the authorities as a woman [R1.1].