Deirdre Duffy responds as Act affecting LGBT+ parents signed into law

LGBT Ireland's Deirdre Duffy releases a statement on additions to the Children and Family Relationships Act signed in by Simon Harris last week.

Two men hold the hands of a child as they enjoy a family walk in the woods. The are wearing green, blue and white sweaters repectively.

Lawyer Deirdre Duffy has released a statement on the Children and Family Relationships Act, after Minister Simon Harris signed the final parts of the 2015 Act into law last week. 

“In practical terms, this is a big step forward for some LGBTI families in Ireland and it is great to see Minister Simon Harris sign these orders.”

The Minister’s action will allow certain same-sex parents to be recognised on their child’s birth cert from 5th May 2020. The law includes an establishment of the Donor Register, and setting up a system for registering births to two parents of the same sex. 

Duffy, who is a board member of LGBT Ireland as well as a human rights lawyer, continued: 

“We need more. Not all families will be covered by the new laws and this is incredibly frustrating and worrying for parents.

There are still aspects to the issue which have been overlooked, including provision for families who have a child through surrogacy. Duffy emphasised that these issues need to be addressed as soon as possible, stating that she was “encouraged” to see that Minister Harris has committed to further action in this area.  

“[Minister Harris] has promised that he will bring forward legislation on assisted human reproduction which will also regulate surrogacy in our country and IVF for the first time ever.

“This must happen without delay,” stated Duffy, who has campaigned for the last number of years for equal rights for LGBT+ parents. 

“I have asked the Minister that this should be a priority action for government as equality for all families means we must support families who have children regardless of their conception including those children born through surrogacy.

“Same-sex families have been left out of the legal loop for too long, in spite of marriage equality now being on the books for four years. We need to act now with conviction and determination to ensure that Ireland has the necessary regulations and laws in place on assisted human reproduction to protect the rights of all families and achieve full equality for LGBTI families.”

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