LGBT Ireland calls for immediate changes to Parental Leave Bill which excludes same-sex male parents

The Parent's Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 excludes same-sex male parents from availing of adoptive leave, and LGBT Ireland is calling for amendments.

LGBT Ireland

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 is “wholly inappropriate in 2019 Ireland” as it prevents same-sex male parents from receiving adoptive leave and other such benefits, according to LGBT Ireland.

LGBT+ parents have been waiting over four years for the Irish Government to amend the Children and Family Relationship Act and the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017. However, both Bills remain with Government and as such, the recently introduced Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 negatively impact same-sex male couples. 

CEO of LGBT Ireland, Paula Fagan said, “To exclude a section of citizens is intolerable and LGBT Ireland strongly calls for all members of the Government to address this massive loophole in the legislation immediately.

“We simply cannot have a situation where gay fathers are not only discriminated against but also treated unequally to other parents.”

Earlier this year, the organisation released guidelines on the rights of same-sex parents.

Regarding donor-assisted children, their issued birth certificate will only allow for the mother’s details to be included. In January 2019, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty announced legislation which would allow non-donor assisted LGBT+ parents in recording themselves as “parents” on the child’s birth certificate. Due to the legal loopholes arising from the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, many same-sex parents are shut out from receiving the same rights as other families. 

On February 6 2019, Deputy Katherine Duppone spoke in the Dáil about potential amendments, stating, “The Department of Justice and Equality identified a lacuna in the Act that prevents male same-sex married couples from availing of adoptive leave and benefits. They have prepared draft legislative proposals to amend the Act to afford the same entitlements to adoptive leave and benefits to all couples who are married, co-habiting or who are in a civil partnership, irrespective of gender. These amendments will be included alongside legislative provisions to introduce a new paid parental leave scheme announced as part of budget 2019. It is expected the legislation will be progressed this year.”

Though it was assured that the amendments are prepared, there has still been no sign of implementation or progress regarding the Bill. Fagan said, “This needs to be fixed without delay and give gay fathers the exact same rights and state benefits, and this needs to be written into legislation immediately.” 

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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