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Dutch court rules against man trying to legally change his age

December 4, 2018

A Netherlands court has ruled against a man who wanted to cut 20 years off his age, saying allowing him to alter his birth certificate would create a mess for bureaucrats.

Emile Ratelband had petitioned the court to amend his birth certificate and drop his age from 69 to 49, saying he felt younger than his years would seem. He said a lower age would also help him on dating apps and with buying a home.

He likened his legal fight to that of transgender persons trying to legally change their sex.

But a district court rejected his request Monday, saying people may feel fit longer in life, but that isn’t a valid reason to legally change one’s age.

The court said if it allowed age changes, the effect would erase years of legal records relating to birth certificates, deaths, marriages, and more.

“This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications. The priority must be to ensure that the public registers contain accurate factual information,” the court said.

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