The law, passed back in August,went into effect November 1.
According to some estimates, one in 2,000 people have characteristics of both sexes, and often undergo surgical sex assignment at birth.
The change allows parents to let infants remain an "indeterminate sex" until the child can decide whether to identify as male, female, or remain outside the binary.
German passports will now have a X designation for intersex people in addition to the traditional designations of M for male and F for female. It’s still uncertain what effect the new X designation will have on German marriage and partnership laws.
Silvan Agius of IGLA-Europe, an organization that advocates for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people, wants the law to be even more expansive.
"While on the one hand it has provided a lot of visibility about intersex issues... it does not address the surgeries and the medicalization of intersex people and that's not good -- that has to change," he said.
Gender assignment surgery can be a brutal undertaking. "I am neither a man nor a woman. I will remain the patchwork created by doctors, bruised and scarred," said an unnamed person who underwent gender-defining surgery.
Earlier this year, Australia became the first to introduce new gender guidelines to protect intersex status.
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