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Same-sex couples will be able to use ‘parent’ on birth certificates under new law

The changes will resolve a number of difficulties in the registration of donor assisted births.

Image: Shutterstock/Natalia Deriabina

SAME-SEX COUPLES will be able to use the label ‘parent’ on birth certificates of their children under new legislation approved by government. 

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said the changes will resolve a number of difficulties in the registration of donor assisted births and will be brought forward as a priority.

Under the current system labels of ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ exist on birth certificates.

Birth certificates issued in respect of donor-assisted children born to same-sex couples currently only allow for the recording of the mother’s details.

Under the new legislation parents of non-donor assisted children may also avail of the label ‘Parent’. 

These changes will facilitate the registration and re-registration of births of children of same-sex female couples, and this will affirm their parental rights.

“While the changes proposed will affect a relatively small number of people, they touch on matters that are very sensitive and of great importance to those families affected. 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,” said Doherty. 

The issue had been raised in the Dáil following the passing of the Children and Family Relationships Bill last year.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett recently highlighted the issue with the minister stating that he was contacted by a woman who was seven months pregnant, who was very concerned that her wife would not be recognised as their child’s parent under the current law. 

It is expected that the Bill will be published and brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas early in the spring.

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