Gay Adoption Legislation to Be Enacted Before Referendum

The Irish government has pledged that legislation to allow same-sex couples to adopt will be enacted before the same-sex marriage referendum in May.


Currently, same-sex couples can adopt individually, however, yesterday’s Cabinet meeting confirmed that the Children and Family Relationships Bill will be published next month. This Bill covers many aspects of familial relationships including gay adoption.

After Monday’s debate on Claire Byrne Live, both Coalition parties feared that doubts had been raised about potential pitfalls in the campaign.

In January 2014, the first draft of the Bill was published by then Justice Minister Alan Shatter before being revised by his successor Frances Fitzgerald.

Today, the Marriage Equality Bill‘s wording will be finalised by the Coalition.

The Bill proposes key changes to the laws on adoption, custody and IVF. Existing laws state that only married couples or sole applicants can seek to adopt a child, however, the Bill will extend the right to adopt to same-sex partners.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Dr Geoffrey Shannon, the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, said the new legislation “brings a diverse range of family types in from the cold” by “updating five decades of law”.

© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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