British passports will now allow for holders to include same-sex parents, should they so desire, by the end of the year.
BBC reported that passport-recipients will be given the options of filling out their parents names under classifications titled parent one and parent two alongside mother and father.
The Home Office may also allow transgender people to list themselves as being part of a third gender, thus bypassing the ‘male’ and ‘female’ designations.
A spokeswoman for Identity and Passport Service (IPS) told BBC: It is essential that any parent provides the necessary information on their status as parents or guardians when applying for a passport on behalf of their child. This protects the interests of the child and ensures that IPS are able to issue passports securely and safely to the right person. The passport application form is therefore being updated to incorporate same-sex parents.
The developments come in the wake of complaints by gay rights organization that the existing passport forms are discriminatory.
Sam Dick, policy officer of UK gay rights group Stonewall, told BBC: These changes simply reflect the realities of modern life for families - making it clearer for same-sex parents applying for passports for their children and more straightforward for the officials who process them.”
On the other side of the debate, family-values adherents said the changes denigrate the roles of traditional fathers and mothers.
Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, told UK media: To speak of 'parent one' and 'parent two' denigrates the place of both fathers and mothers. Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but have quite distinct roles to play in the care and nurture of their children.
A few weeks ago, Australia implemented similar rules for its passports.
People choosing to identify themselves as belonging to a third gender will simply mark an “X” under sex.
An Australian senator, Louise Pratt praised the measure.
There have been very many cases of people being detained at airports by immigration in foreign countries simply because their passports don't reflect what they look like, she told Australian radio.
It's very distressing, highly inconvenient and frankly sometimes dangerous.