Review of the Gender Recognition Act 2004: consultation

This consultation seeks views on proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Annex E – Rights Of People Aged 18 And Under

1. The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list of the rights acquired by children and young people.

2.At age 12 you can:

  • consent to your own adoption;
  • make a will; and
  • apply for child maintenance for yourself.

3.At age 12 you are presumed to be mature and old enough to:

  • express views about a major decision about you by your parents or others caring for you;
  • express a view about matters a court has to decide (such as who you should live with or spend time with);
  • instruct a lawyer in a civil matter;
  • request access to your personal records; and
  • make a freedom of information request from a public authority.

4.Before 16 you may:

  • Consent to any surgical, medical or dental procedure or treatment where, in the opinion of a qualified medical practitioner attending you are capable of understanding the nature and possible consequences of the procedure or treatment; and
  • instruct a solicitor, in connection with any civil matter, where you have a general understanding of what it means to do so.

5.At age 16 you can:

  • leave home without your parent or guardian's consent;
  • get a full-time job and pay National Insurance;
  • enter into a legally binding contract;
  • consent to surgical, medical, or dental procedures and treatments;
  • marry or register a civil partnership;
  • consent to lawful sexual activity;
  • apply for a UK passport on your own behalf;
  • vote in elections to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish local authorities;
  • get a skin piercing; and
  • record a change of name officially.

6.At age 18 you can:

  • buy alcohol or tobacco;
  • place a bet;
  • serve as a juror in both civil and criminal cases; and
  • vote in UK elections.


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