The first provisions of the Children and Family Relationship Act 2015 may be enacted in the next few months.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have said the only barrier ahead of enacting their part of the law, Part 9, is the roll-out of training to staff of the Civil Registration Service.
This would amend parts 1 and 2 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 for registering details of ‘parent’.
A department spokesperson said: “Provision has since been made for registering details of ‘parent’ in section 99 [in Part 9] of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 ]which amends Parts 1 and 2 of the First Schedule of the Civil Registration Act 2004, as amended], in the case of a donor-assisted birth.
“These provisions have yet to be commenced pending the roll-out of training to staff of the Civil Registration Service who are employees of the HSE. The General Register Office is in a position to begin provision of training as soon as the HSE notifies it of the dates and venues.
“It is not possible to register a second female parent under the father’s details, as the father of a child has to be a male. It will be possible to register a second female parent once section 99 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 has been commenced. The General Register office has issued such guidelines to the Civil Registration Service staff in the HSE.”
The HSE said: “The provision of training on the new regulations for Civil Registration Services is planned to take place in the coming months. There are no budget issues preventing this.”
Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 have also yet to be enacted and are the responsibility of the Department of Health. Parts 2 and 3 gives equal parental rights to families who conceive through assisted human reproduction.
In April this year, Senator Fintan Warfield criticised Minister for Health Simon Harris TD for failing to commence key equal status legislation granting equal parental rights to families who conceive through assisted human reproduction, three years on from its passage through the Oireachtas.
Senator Warfield said the delay has left numerous families in ‘legal limbo'”.
“Three years on from the passing of civil marriage equality, it is unacceptable that these aspects of the legislation have yet to be commenced by Government. In many cases, Government are leaving only one parent with legal rights.
“Same-sex families are therefore vulnerable, as the parent without legal rights cannot give medical consent, nor are they recognised as a parent on the birth certificate of their child.
“They cannot give citizenship rights to their child, along with an array of other potential issues.”
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