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07/11/2018 12:00:00 AM


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Ryan, Eamon

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Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Second Stage

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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 Eamon Ryan

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Eamon Ryan

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Snippet Contents:

I am glad to take part in the debate tonight. My party was not in the Dáil when the Children and Family Relationships Act was passed so it has been interesting to hear about the different cases involving different families, circumstances, realities, legal gaps and the different failings that exist at present. I echo the regret of those who may have been involved in the passing of the original legislation that the commencement of these sections has been delayed for three years because of a technical failing. We support the Government's Bill to address that and to ensure the full commencement of the Act.
It is welcome that we are living in an Ireland which, as the Taoiseach said yesterday, recognises every type of family and recognises the importance of protecting their rights. I also welcome the Minister's clarification that the legislation is framed with a core understanding or commitment in it that the rights of the child as recognised by the United Nations are also included and guaranteed in the Bill's provisions, particularly with regard to the right at the age of 18 years to be able to find the identity of the original genetic parents. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Zappone, has been engaged on the issue of birth certificates and birth certificate issues have been centre stage in the Dáil in recent months. I believe there is a right to that information and we should ensure it is provided for in the legislation. There is a range of reasons that access to such information makes sense. There will be difficulties with that for certain families and certain circumstances where it may restrict certain choices, but the approach that centres on the rights of the child, as well as the parents is the proper and correct way to go.
I welcome the clarification the Minister has outlined. I presume the commencement will lead to the establishment of the register he mentioned and that the disclosure capability or the ability to find out the relevant information will be provided. We support the Bill and look forward to its full enactment.