Ahead of the six-year anniversary of Marriage Equality, CEO of Equality for Children, Ranae von Meding, has teamed up with the Irish filmmaker, Gerard Walsh, to produce a poignant video, reminding us that children of LGBTQ+ families are #stillnotequal.
The video is set against the backdrop of Dublin Castle and is narrated with a poem written and performed by von Meding herself. Featuring simple family scenes, the video portrays the joy of family life along with the anguish of those in the queer community who are still not seen as equals by their country.
“Considered a single mother and yet,
Our girls have two parents. And don’t you forget…
That we voted for marriage equality.
But what we have is not equal. Not really you see.”
As the Equality For Children video continues, von Meding speaks about a situation that their family found themselves in when they applied for passports for their daughters.
“Something so simple, a passport application.
Should have been easy, but for a small stipulation.
That I sign away my wife as though she doesn’t exist.
My entire life with a single signature dismissed.”
She finishes the piece with a call to action to all the people of Ireland who voted Yes six years ago.
“My family is equal though my country doesn’t see.
All the hurt and humiliation it’s been causing me.
And countless others who are in the same boat.
Come on Ireland we can do better. Didn’t we already vote?”
The majority of LGBTQ+ couples require Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) treatment in order to be able to conceive a child. However, most children born through AHR treatment are left in an uncertain position without any functioning legal framework to establish a lawful parent-child relationship that includes both parents. This has many practical implications for the children of these families in areas such as; birth registration, citizenship provisions, childcare and/or educational provisions, access to social welfare, succession/inheritance rights, etc.
In May 2020, the Children and Families Relationships Act (CFRA) was introduced meaning that, for the first time, same-sex female couples who met certain criteria could go to court and both be recognised as their child’s legal parents. As a result, any female couple who conceive and birth their child in the way set out in the CFRA will have automatic recognition of both parents from birth. The progress was welcome, but legislation is still needed to recognise all remaining LGBTQ+ family units, and give equal rights to both parents.
In recent months, the Irish Government published a report on children’s rights and best interests in the context of AHR. If adopted, the recommendations contained in this report would address numerous legislative gaps that exist for LGBTQ+ families in Ireland.
von Meding shared, “Professor Conor O’Mahony’s report represents another crucial step forward in our campaign. By adopting all of the recommendations in Professor O’ Mahony’s report, thousands of children in Ireland will finally be able to have a legal parent-child relationship with both of their parents, something that has been denied to them to date.”
Equality for Children have set up a petition calling on the government to act swiftly to adopt all of these recommendations into the legislation governing assisted human reproduction. You can sign that petition on their website or across all their social channels.
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