LGBTQ+ families welcome bill to ensure legal equality in Ireland for children born to same-sex female parents

The Bill will be brought before the Dáil on Thursday, January 25.

LGBTQ+ families and groups outside the Dáil welcoming a new Bill. The group holds rainbow umbrellas above their heads, and children at the front hold love hearts and signs.

On Tuesday, January 23, LGBTQ+ families and advocacy groups gathered outside Leinster House to welcome the Private Members Bill to amend the Children and Family Relationships Act. If approved, the changes will ensure that all children born to same-sex female couples are treated equally under Irish law.

The Bill, produced by Labour in conjunction with LGBT Ireland and Equality for Children, closes various gaps created by the original legislation, particularly where a child has been conceived abroad, outside of a clinical setting or using a known donor before May 4, 2020. It also includes protections for children born outside of Ireland.

It additionally ensures that all court applications under the Bill will have the child’s best interests as the paramount consideration, and rights the wrongs of previous legislation that only allows declarations of parentage to be transferred if the genetic father was unknown.


The proposed amendments will be brought to the Dáil by Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik on Thursday, January 25. Ahead of the imminent debate, she commented, “All parents worry about safeguarding the future of their children. That is without added concerns about guardianship, parentage, inheritance, and even the legal status of a child.

“These issues are simple to address, but the consequences of a failure to address them are enormous for families. The changes proposed by this bill will provide security and comfort that families currently do not have,” Bacik continued.

“The marriage equality referendum vote was about more than just the right to marry. The will of the people was clear; they wanted LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ relationships treated equally by the State. We all agree that the best interests of children must be paramount in all matters relating to family law. Labour’s Bill aims to address the gaps that currently exist in the law and provide equality for all families,” she concluded.


Ranae von Meding of Equality for Children, who regularly campaigns on behalf of LGBTQ+ families, stated, “We are delighted to see Labour bringing forward this Bill on behalf of the existing and future children of same-sex female couples in Ireland. These children have been left behind for far too long.

“We are grateful to Labour for taking up their cause and fighting for their right to equality,” she added.

“If passed, this Bill would make a huge difference to the families we represent, 50% of whom are not covered by existing legislation. We’re calling on the Government to respond to the family law proposals put forward in this Bill as a matter of urgency.”

Similarly, Pádraig Rice from LGBT Ireland said, “The clear message from the LGBTQ community to the Government is that we want our families treated fairly and equally under the law. As part of that, the gaps in the law must be closed to allow all children of same-sex couples to have a full legal relationship with both parents.

“Children of LGBTQ+ people must be treated equally. They must be afforded the same rights as other children – nothing less, nothing more,” he expressed.



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“The Government’s Assisted Human Reproduction Bill, which is currently at Committee Stage in the Dáil, would have been the ideal vehicle to address the lacuna in the law. Unfortunately, the Government’s Bill as it currently stands doesn’t fully deal with these issues. This is a shame and a missed opportunity to fix this issue once and for all. Families shouldn’t have to wait any longer. 

“The equality the people voted for in the Marriage Equality Referendum in 2015 won’t be fully realised until this issue is solved.”

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