Equality for children of same-sex couples must be a priority

Ivana Bacik TD
25 January 2023

Speaking following a cross-party briefing with Equality for Children and LGBT Ireland, Labour Leader Ivana Bacik TD has called for urgent legislative reform to ensure that the children of same-sex couples are treated equally before the law.

Deputy Bacik said:

“At this afternoon’s briefing, I was moved to hear from LGBT+ parents of the real-life effects of the absence of laws to protect and recognise so many families across the country. The testimony we heard today is just a snapshot of the precarity faced by LGBT+ parents and their children, who do not enjoy the same automatic legal recognition as children of most heterosexual parents.

“During the 20th century, Ireland was intolerant to the LGBT+ community. The nature of Irish families is now changing as our society becomes more accepting of families which are not based on heterosexual marriage. It is time for the law to keep apace of that welcome change in Irish society.

“This week, I have submitted a new bill which would help to address some of these issues by amending the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.

“In effect, it would simplify and expand the pathways to parentage for parents of donor-conceived children. The legislation would further introduce a presumption of maternity for same-sex women couples, and citizenship for donor-conceived children.

“These changes will significantly improve the protections of children of lesbian and bisexual women, in particular.

“All parents worry about safeguarding the future of their children. That is without added concerns about guardianship, parentage, inheritance, and even the legal status of a child. These issues are simple to address, but the consequences of a failure to address them are enormous for families. I am hopeful that it will see cross-party support, and that the Government will work with me to progress it through the Dáil and Seanad.”

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