Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Republic v. Jennifer B. Cagandahan case brief summary

Republic v. Jennifer B. Cagandahan case brief summary
G.R. No. 166676, September 12, 2008

FACTS: Jennifer Cagandahan alleged that she was born on January 13, 1981, registered as a female in the Certificate of Live Birth but while growing up developed secondary male characteristics and eventually diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). On December 11, 2003, respondent filed a Petition for Correction of Entries in Birth Certificate before the RTC, Branch 33 of Siniloan, Laguna.

Respondent alleges that she had clitoral hypertrophy in her early years, at age six, after an ultrasound, it was discovered that she had small ovaries but at 13 years old, tests revealed that her ovarian structures had diminished, stopped growing and had no breast or menses. For al intents and purposes, as well as in disposition, considered herself male. To prove her claim, respondent presented Dr. Michael Sionzon of the Department of Psychiatry, UP-PGH, who issued a medical certificate stating that respondent is genetically female but her body secretes male hormones, has two organs of which the female part is undeveloped.

RTC granted respondent’s petition.

ISSUE: Can a genetically female but predominantly male person request for change of name and gender?

RULING: The Court ruled that the governing law with respect to change of name and gender is RA 9048. Respondent, indisputably, has CAH, as such, is characterized by inappropriate manifestations of male characteristics, although are genetically female. CAH people also have ambiguous private parts, appearing more male than female but have internal female reproductive organs which may become undeveloped. These individual’s are commonly referred to as inters ex, and respondent, having reached the age of majority, and having decided to be male, considering that his body produces high levels of male hormones is a preponderant biological support for considering him male.

Republic’s petition is denied. RTC Branch 33 decision is affirmed.

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