In a world first, a Canadian baby has been government registered without a gender designation. The eight-month-old baby, named Searyl Ati, was listed for a British Columbia health card with a ‘U’ marked in the space where parents will normally put down their child’s gender.

Searly’s parent, Kori Doty, identifies as neither male nor female and told CBC News that they didn’t want to limit the child’s identity based on their genitals.

Doty prefers to use the pronoun ‘they’, saying: ‘I’m raising Searyl in such a way that until they have the sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are, I’m recognising them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box.’ Doty finished saying, ‘I want my kid to have all of the space to be the most whole and complete person that they can be.’

The move has already attracted criticism from some, but has also garnered plenty of praise: