A 69-year-old man who tried to legally reduce his age by 20 years because he identified as 49 has had his request rejected by a Dutch court.
Dutch television personality Emile Ratelband asked a court in the Netherlands to formally change his date of birth from 1949 to 1969, claiming he identifies as a much younger man.
Ratelband was slammed online for arguing his request was similar to people who change their name, or transgender people who affirm their gender on their birth certificates.
He also complained of feeling “abused, aggrieved and discriminated against” in many situations because of his age, including purchasing a property and looking for love on Tinder.
“When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position,” he said last month.
“Nowadays, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people. We can make our own decisions if we want to change our name, or if we want to change our gender.
“So I want to change my age. My feeling about my body and about my mind is that I’m about 40 or 45.”
But the court rejected Ratelband’s request, writing in its ruling that Dutch law assigns rights and obligations based on age “such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school.”
“If Mr Ratelband’s request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless,” the court said.
“The court recognises there is a trend in society for people to feel fit and healthy for longer, but did not regard that as a valid argument for amending a person’s date of birth.
“Mr Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly.
“But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships.
“This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications.”