Momentous day as some Irish LGBT+ families have their parental rights legally recognised

While this is a historic day for some same-sex parents, there are still so many LGBT+ families not covered by new regulations.

Two women hold a baby and a birthday cake while standing in a park

Today marks a historic moment as a Dublin court will deal with applications of parentage for some Irish LGBT+ families.

LGBT Ireland have shared that the enactment of parts Two and Three of the Child and Family Relationships Act has given the courts jurisdiction to make retrospective declarations of parentage for children born through donor-assisted human reproduction prior to May 4 2020. At the moment, this only covers certain families, there is still quite a way to go in order for all rainbow families to achieve their full rights.

CEO of LGBT Ireland, Paula Fagan, shared, “This is a huge step forward for the LGBTI+ community, for the first time we will have access to birth certificates that recognise same sex parents. However, while we celebrate it is important to remember the majority of same sex families continue to find themselves in a precarious legal situation with regard to parental rights.”

Fagan continued, “We call on the new coalition Government to fast track the review to be undertaken by special rapporteur on child protection Conor O’Mahony into improved parental rights for LGBTI+ families.”

One of the families involved, Anne Marie Whelan and her wife, Ailbhe O’Nolan, have applied for a declaration of parentage for Ailbhe for their son, Finn. Ailbhe shared, “Finn turned one a few weeks ago and being recognised very soon, means so much to us. It is something permanent, a formal declaration of what has been true from before he was ever born. It ends the feeling of being in limbo, of being the ‘non-parent’.

“We will no longer have to worry about who takes him for the remainder of his childhood vaccines. We will finally be able to get him a passport without one of us making a legal declaration that we are a sole parent to him. We will both have the assurance that we are, in every respect, his parents and that can no longer be denied to us as a family.”

However, as noted, not all Irish LGBT+ families will be legally recognised by the new legislation. Married couple Gearóid Kenny and Séamus Moore have two children born via surrogacy outside of Ireland. Gearóid stated, “The enactment of the CFRA 2015 does nothing for us, we are being left in limbo alongside many other LGBT+ families.”

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