Parts 2 & 3 of the Child and Family Relationships Act (CFRA) 2015 will commence on May 4 2020. It will allow certain same-sex female parents to be legally recognised as co-parents of their children.
There are two different scenarios covered depending on the date of conception:
For a child conceived after the 4th May 2020:
The Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR) procedure must have been undertaken in a DAHR facility in Ireland using a traceable sperm donor. Both parents can be registered in these cases through the Registrar as normal with the provision of a certificate from the clinic
For a child conceived prior to the 4th May 2020:
The DAHR procedure may have been undertaken in a DAHR facility in Ireland OR abroad using an anonymous OR traceable sperm donor. However, in these cases a Declaration of Parentage is required from Court, to enable both parents to be registered on the child’s birth certificate at re-registration.
The legalities of this are complex and to help families understand the intricacies, LGBT Ireland and FLAC have collaborated to create a FAQ sheet.
LGBT Ireland and FLAC’s FAQ sheet answers everything from procedures on donor gametes in storage, to applying for declaration of parentage.
The full FAQ can be found on LGBT Ireland’s website along with a recording of their online information briefing.
Families are urged to contact their solicitor for advice on specific cases.
Speaking about the commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the CFRA, CEO of LGBT Ireland Paula Fagan told GCN that while it is a positive step, it is “deeply problematic in the sense that it’s very, very prescribed.
“So in the absence of legislation, for example, known donors aren’t covered retrospectively. So if you’ve already are pregnant already with a known donor, you can’t avail of these provisions. So that’s very difficult for people.
“Because there was an absence of regulation and a lot of people thought that it was better for a child to have a known donor that they could know or at least know their biology if you like.
“So they made that decision in the best intentions for their children and they’re not covered.”
While the commencement of Part 2 & 3 of the CFRA does not treat all families as equal, it does give a clearer sense of the Irish criteria which clinics in Ireland can adhere to in order for both parents to be registered on the birth certificate of their child.
Solicitors say that further legislation is required to ensure all parents and children are protected in the myriad of ways LGBT+ families are formed.
Fagan said that while they continue to work towards an Ireland where all families are equal, May 4, will be “quite a historic moment for Ireland.
“For the first time, there will be a regulation in Ireland that says, same-sex parents are recognised in the State on the birth registration as two parents.”
Fagan is hopeful that there may be knock-on effects for same-sex parents not initially covered because while it “doesn’t cover everyone, it does set the scene.”
If you have any doubts about whether the legislation applies to you, you should contact your solicitor if you have access or alternatively you can contact FLAC on Lo-Call 1890 350 250 or 01-8745690
If you are in need of emotional support you can call the National LGBT Helpline on Lo-Call 1890 929 539 or chat online at lgbt.ie
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