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Cabinet approves law to allow some same-sex partners to both register as parents on baby's birth certificate

The move comes from government after years of campaigning for same-sex couples and LGBT advocates.

Image: Shutterstock/Kristina Bessolova

CABINET HAS GIVEN approval to allow the drafting of a Bill which will allow some same-sex couples to both legally declare parentage of a child.

Health Minister Simon Harris received permission from Cabinet to draft a standalone piece of legislation, which will close a loophole and allow the Minister to commence two key parts of the Children and Family Relationships Act (2015).

This will allow some same-sex couples to both legally declare parentage of a child, and will also allow couples to seek a retrospective declaration of parentage.

The move comes from government after same-sex couples and LGBT advocates for years campaigned to have key parts of the act commenced.

Without these parts of the act being commenced, a donor-conceived child’s mother cannot have her same-sex spouse recognised as a legal parent of the child.

The Department of Health said that the new Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018 will address technical issues which have been identified with the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.

This will allow Parts Two and Three of the act – which deal with parentage through donor-assisted human reproduction – to be commenced, the department said.

“The commencement of Parts Two and Three of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 will allow same-sex couples to seek a retrospective declaration of parentage,” said Harris.

This will be a very welcome step for lots of families. I hope to be in a position to introduce this legislation into the Dáil before the summer and commence in the autumn.

Law Lecturer Brian Tobin wrote about issues surrounding the failure of government to commence Parts 2 and 3 of the Bill this morning in TheJournal.ie.

He has previously written about issues with the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill around surrogacy.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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