Dutch man loses legal bid to identify as 20 years younger

(Photo: Omroep Gelderland)Emile Ratelband

A Dutch man's bid to change his legal age because he feels 20 years younger has been turned down by the courts.

'Positivity trainer' Emile Ratelband wanted to change his legal age from 69 to 49 because he said his real age was a hindrance to his employability and dating prospects 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.

He likened his case to that of transgenders, as he argued that people should be able to identify with different ages just as people can choose their gender.

'Transgenders can now have their gender changed on their birth certificate, and in the same spirit there should be room for an age change,' he said.

But a court in Anrhem has rejected his argument, saying that there would be 'undesirable' legal consequences to removing 20 years of his life from the records.

In a written ruling, the court said that certain legal rights and obligations, like the right to vote and attend school, were dependent on age.

'If Mr. Ratelband's request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless,' the court said.

'Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,' Arnhem court added said in a press statement.

'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.'

It also said that the 'trend' in society for living longer was not a valid argument for amending a person's date of birth and that there were 'alternatives' available for addressing age discrimination.

Lifestyle