The Alberta government will be the first Canadian jurisdiction to allow a third gender option on a birth certificate if new legislation introduced Tuesday is passed.

Bill 29, the Vital Statistics and Modernization Act, makes more than 60 changes to the Vital Statistics and Marriage Acts.

Under the proposed amendments, people who do not identify as male or female can have their gender marked as "X" on their birth certificates.

But even if the legislation is passed, the province won't make the change right away. 

The federal government is still examining how it can add a third gender option to passports. The province will wait for Ottawa to make that change before going ahead with new Alberta birth certificates.

The government is also adding social workers, registered nurses and nurse practitioners to the list of professionals who can confirm an affidavit for someone who wishes to change their gender identity.

In 2015, the government  dropped the requirement for a person to have gender reassignment surgery before being allowed to change the sex on documents like birth certificates. 

Another proposed change in the act affects adults whose developmental disability, brain injury or chronic mental illness requires them to be represented by a guardian. They will be allowed to marry without a need for a doctor's note.

Other changes include:

  • introduction of an online registry so parents can register a birth using their computer or smartphone
  • end of the requirement for parents to have to name a stillborn child when they register the stillbirth. Proposed changes will allow them to add a name later on
  • clarification of the fact parents can choose the last name they want for their child. Some parents want to blend their surnames into a new last name for their child.
  • addition of midwives to the list of professionals who can register a birth.