LGBTQ+ parents meet with Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee to discuss LGBTQ+ family rights

LGBTQ+ parents from Equality for Children discussed with the Minister for Justice the fact that 5 years on from Marriage Equality, 60% of children of LGBTQ+ families have no legal connection to one of their parents. 


Some LGBTQ+ parents in Ireland now have the same rights as heterosexual parents. It is a huge step in the right direction. However many families still fall outside of any legal framework- and in these cases, only one person in an LGBTQ+ family can be a legal parent – leaving an unknown outcome for families in the event of bereavement, illness and more.

Equality for Children is a grassroots campaign which was launched in October 2019 – campaigning for equality for all children of LGBTQ+ families in Ireland. It was started by a collective of concerned parents and allies who were tired of waiting for their families to be given the recognition they deserve.

Last week, members of Equality for Children and LGBT Ireland met with the Minister for Justice, Minister Helen McEntee, to discuss how to progress equality for children of LGBTQ+ families.

Following the meeting, Ranae von Meding, CEO of Equality for Children said, “We welcome this meeting with Minister McEntee as a significant step in achieving equality for children of LGBT+ families. We look forward to working together to find sensible legal solutions that are in the best interest of our children.

“The protections promised in 2015 by the government under the Children and Family and Relationships Act dictate a very particular LGBT+ family makeup. They finally came to fruition earlier this year and the first parental orders were issued early in the summer. This has been a source of enormous relief for hundreds of families.

“However, it is not enough. Around 40% of children of LGBT+ families benefit from this bill. That leaves the other 60% with no legal connection to one of their parents. Five years after marriage equality – it’s simply not good enough.

“We recognise that progress has been made with the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill at Oireachtas Committee stage as well as the ongoing work from the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Dr Conor O’Mahony, to investigate parental rights for LGBT+ families using assisted human reproduction. These are significant developments and have the potential to provide pathways to legal recognition for hundreds of more families.”

The campaign has garnered support from people who are willing to help across social media, fundraising, lobbying, design and more, but the task group is asking people to support them through volunteering to join them in the fight for full equality.

“As it stands today, there are still many LGBT+ families in which only one parent can be a legal parent, which of course is perilous in the event of bereavement, illness and more,” Ranae commented.

“The reason why this campaign is so important is because many children of LGBT+ parents are still on the dangerous sidelines of grey legislation. We are #StillNotEqual, and our children ultimately suffer the most, until something changes. We look forward to working with Minister McEntee and her department and we welcome the invitation for a follow-up meeting before the end of the year.” she added.

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