Does Ukraine Allow 14-Year-Olds to Change Sex?

6 March, 2020

On March 2, Georgia and World released an article headlined “On the Road to Hell…in Ukraine, 14-Year-Olds have been Allowed to Change Sex.” The article reads that a bill has been registered in Ukraine’s legislature, allowing 14-year-old children to change sex without parents’ permission.  

The article spreads disinformation. The initiated bill does not envisage the legalization of sex change among teens, but it aims at improving children’s rights in healthcare. The accompanying photo is also manipulative; it has nothing to do with Ukraine, but has rather been taken in Ireland.

The Ukrainian bill does not envisage granting teens the right to sex change

On December 27, 2019, MP Lada Bulakh submitted a bill “On Making Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine Regarding Realization of Children’s Rights in Healthcare” to Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament). 

According to the explanatory note of the bill, it aims at improving the realization of children’s rights in healthcare. 

The bill envisages the following amendments:

  • To include a term “teenager” into the Law of Ukraine on Children’s Rights and to define certain health-related rights for them; 
  • According to the Law of Ukraine on Health and Civil Code of Ukraine, adolescents above 14 should have access to the information about their health condition; 
  • According to the Civil Code of Ukraine, adolescents should be able to realize their rights to health. 

Neither the bill, nor the attached documents involve the permission for teens to change sex. The explanatory note cites UN’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and WHO’s conclusion “World Health Teens: A Second Chance in the Second Decade” to substantiate the need for making the above mentioned amendments. The both documents acknowledge special needs of teens, which are different from the needs of children and adults, including in respect of health issues.  

he photo accompanying the article has not been taken in Ukraine  

According to Reuters, the photo was taken in Dublin, Ireland on May 23, 2015, where the people backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum.


Primary Russian source of disinformation

A Russian website is the primary source of Geworld’s article. The website (Москва III Рим) released the article with identical headline and content on February 14. Moreover, the photo accompanying the Russian-language article is also identical to Geworld’s photo.

Prepared by Teona Babutsidze
Regional Network of Media Literacy Lab