New parental rights for same-sex female couples in Ireland come into effect today, but there is still a long way to go

Parts Two and Three of the Child and Families Relationships Act commence today, as the Irish State recognises some same-sex couples as parents on children's birth certificates.

The torso of a woman holding a toddler's hand as they walk along a hill overlooking the sea

Today sees the commencement of parts Two and Three of the Child and Family Relationships Act, bringing much needed parental rights for same-sex female couples and their families, however there is still a ways to go for full protections for all LGBT+ parents and their children.

The legislation will see some same-sex female couples registered on their child’s birth certs, a move which Paula Fagan, the CEO of LGBT Ireland shared was “quite a historic moment for Ireland” and the parental rights of LGBT+ couples in a previous interview with GCN. Fagan continued, “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 points out, however, that the changes to the CFRA are “deeply problematic in the sense that it’s very, very prescribed.” In fact, a majority of rainbow families are still not covered by the Act, notably:

Two male parents,
Those who have used home inseminations,
Those who have used a known donor,
Those who have used reciprocal IVF,
Those who have used surrogacy,
Those who have sought treatment abroad.

Ranae von Meding, the CEO of Equality for Children, shared of today’s news, “We’re tired of sitting idly on an unfulfilled promise by the State which has spanned years, and we’re calling out for help in making our point. Many people think that because we have marriage equality, that everything is sorted out – but it is not.”

von Meding continued, “The protections promised in 2015 by the Government under the Children and Family and Relationships Bill dictate a very particular LGBT+ family makeup. They are finally coming to fruition today and for that we are grateful. However it is not enough. Around 40% of children will be covered by this bill. That leaves the other 60% with no legal connection to one of their parents.”

The statement continued, “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.”

“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, unless something changes. True equality will not be achieved until it extends to all children in Ireland.”

For more information, or to add you support to Equality For Children, you can visit their website here.

If you have been affected by today’s news, you can reach out to LGBT Ireland’s helpline here. LGBT Ireland have also released an FAQ sheet with more in-depth information on today’s changes to the CFRA which you can read here.

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