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Both parents in some female same-sex relationships can now be named on a child's birth certificate

The bill became law today on the fourth anniversary of the marriage referendum.

Image: Eamonn Farrell

PRESIDENT HIGGINS HAS signed the Civil Registration Bill 2019 into law meaning some female same-sex couples can now have both parents named on their child’s birth certificate. 

Parents who had a child via an Irish donor were previously only able to have the mother’s name mentioned on the birth certificate. 

The amendment to the Civil Registration Act 2004 will now mean some same-sex parents have the option of either the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ on the certificate or to replace them with the term ‘parent’ instead where both can be named. 

“Registration of particulars of ‘mother’ and ‘father’ will continue to be available. However, any parent may choose to register a birth as ‘Parent’ if they so wish,” it states. 

However, legislation has yet to be introduced which would see other same-sex couples given the option to include both parents names on the birth certificate. 

These include male same-sex couples, as well as female same-sex couples who had fertility treatments abroad and couples who used reciprocal IVF treatments. 

Before now, when a married woman, who is separated from her husband, goes on to have a child with a new partner, her husband was presumed to have paternal rights under the law. 

Now both parents in the female same-sex couples who had a child via an Irish donor will have parental rights. 

The bill became law today on the fourth anniversary of the marriage referendum after passing the final stages in the Seanad last Wednesday.

On publication of the bill in February, Social protection minister Regina Doherty said: “I have met with and spoken to many affected by this issue and I am now very pleased to be able to bring these changes forward as a priority to ensure that they can be introduced as soon as possible.”

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