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07/11/2018 12:00:00 AM


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Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018\Second Stage
Bills\Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018\Second Stage

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Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Deputy Paul Murphy

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Snippet Contents:

I will share my time with Deputy Bríd Smith. I welcome the Bill. It is very late but I welcome it on behalf of the LGBTQ+ parents who will have their rights as parents acknowledged and those of their children as a consequence. Serious questions need to be answered about why this legislation has taken three years. I can accept that technical mistakes can happen and so on, but for a long time when we asked questions on this, we were told that there was a problem with one thing or another and the Government was looking at how to resolve them and so on. Eventually, the Government had to return to the House with amending legislation. That should not have happened three years later, but immediately after the problem was recognised.
It is clear this has happened because the community began to mobilise on the issue. Important meetings took place. "We are Family" was the theme of this year's Pride parade and political pressure was bearing down on the Government whereby they could not stand over the situation any longer. It is a movement of people forcing the Government to act on the issue.
I also want to point out the inadequacies of this Bill. I acknowledge that they are rooted in the legislation that was passed three years ago, rather than being inadequacies of this particular Bill, but the number of LGBTQ+ parents who are excluded is an issue. Many of them will gather outside the Dáil at lunchtime tomorrow to protest, and I will join them. They support the passing of the Bill but they demand action to ensure that all parents will be treated equally.
Some of the practical issues have been referred to. I have been in touch with a couple recently, Leeane and Nile. Leeane wrote: I wish I could tell Leeane that after the passing of this legislation, her family will be fully recognised, but unfortunately they will not because they had a home insemination. This is not a situation of a known donor; the donor is traceable and attended a clinic outside the jurisdiction, so unfortunately they will not be covered by this legislation.
The point has been made that those who availed of surrogacy, which in the vast majority of cases is men, are not covered.