Representatives from LGBT Ireland appeared before the Oireachtas today to call for the increased legal recognition of families headed by same-sex parents.
Particularly, the group attended the council in order to address the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017.
Representatives from the Iona Institute were also invited to the hearing, though they did not attend. The conservative group – who have previously campaigned against marriage equality – recently attended the Oireachtas to discuss the same issue.
Today’s meeting saw LGBT Ireland’s chief executive Paula Fagan comment on the way in which the Bill impacts on donor-conceived children of same-sex parents, particularly in terms of medical consent and obtaining legal documents, such as passports.
Fagan, who was joined at the hearing by Dr Lydia Bracken, the organisation’s legal advisor, spoke about how the lack of legal recognition causes “considerable stress and uncertainty” to same-sex families.
“Several families we spoke to have children with serious health conditions that require ongoing medical attention, for these parents the stress caused by the lack of legal rights puts a huge additional strain on them.
“This is particularly so when medical consent is required, and when obtaining legal documents such as passports, but it also arises in everyday situations, like for example providing consent for school trips.”
Waiting to address the Joint Health Committee on the AHR Bill to outline our proposals for reform to ensure that children being raised by same-sex parents, can establish a legal relationship to their parents. For more info on our submission go to https://t.co/rPrjUJ5Uv6
— LGBT Ireland (@LGBT_ie) February 27, 2019
“While we acknowledge this is a complex piece of legislation and support the thorough consideration of all issues involved, we ask that you progress your deliberations urgently.”
.@LGBT_ie are before the Health Committee shortly for pre-legislative scrutiny of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. This legislation is overdue. A child’s right to identity is absolutely key. But the reality of their actual family relationship should be legally recognised.
— Fintan Warfield (@fintanwarfield) February 27, 2019
The group’s Chief Executive also commented on the inadequacy of the current legislation regarding the rights of male same-sex parents whose children were born via surrogacy:
“The only option is for the couple to apply for second-parent adoption, which we do not believe to be an adequate solution.”
The current legislation makes it challenging for some same-sex parents to obtain legal documents – such as passports – for their children. This morning, GCN reported that a married gay couple were finally issued with an Irish passport for their son, a year after their initial request was denied.
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