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Must gender marker petitions be published in the local newspaper?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Family Law |

The LGBTQ+ community has faced and continues to face a plethora of issues and discriminatory hurdles. One hurdle that hits this community is when they seek to have a change in their name or gender recognized by the state. Seeking a name or gender marker change in Indiana can often lead to discriminatory hurdles, despite clear guidelines from the Court of Appeals. While the law dictates that these changes should be granted in good faith, some trial courts complicate the process unnecessarily.

Must gender marker petitions be published in the local newspaper?

No. One such complication arises from the misconception that a gender marker petition must be published in a local newspaper. However, this step is not mandated by law, despite its enforcement by certain courts.

The truth is, legal procedures for gender marker changes do not include newspaper publication. The law unequivocally states that changes should be granted as long as they are made in good faith and not for fraudulent purposes.

What about name changes?

For the name change publication requirement, petitioners can request the requirement to be waived if such a publication would put them at risk of harm. Any official court records can also be requested to be sealed  as well. And, this is not just for trans-applicants. This exception is for anyone that has a risk of harm, like identity theft victims, domestic violence survivors, etc.


Discrimination is discrimination, and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is the same as any other. It just often looks a bit different. Although some Indiana courts exhibit discrimination towards those seeking name or gender marker changes, it is crucial to recognize that there is no legal obligation to publish a gender marker petition in a local newspaper. The law supports individuals making these requests in earnest.