Labour to introduce Bill to improve legal protections of children of same-sex couples

Ivana Bacik TD
27 June 2023
  • Amending the Children and Family Relationships Act will provide security when a child is sick, needs to establish citizenship or access legal documents

Today (Tuesday, 27th June), the Labour Party will introduce a bill to amend the Children and Family Relationship Act 2015 to improve the protections of children of same-sex couples.

The Bill will simplify and expand the pathways to parentage for parents of donor-conceived children as well as introduce a presumption of maternity for same-sex women couples, and citizenship for donor-conceived children.

In advance of introducing the Bill in the Dail today, Labour leader Ivana Bacik TD said:

“The marriage equality referendum vote was about more than just the right to marry. The will of the people was clear; they wanted LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ relationships and families treated equally by the State. Government thus far has failed to provide full protection for LGBTQ+ families through a lack of effective legal recognition for all children of same-sex couples. Today, Labour will introduce a bill to improve protections for children which are so desperately needed.

“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.

“Amending the Children and Family Relationships Act is crucial to improve the protections of children of same-sex couples. It is unfathomable to think of the precarity faced by LGBTQ+ parents and their children.

“The granting of full parentage would have a profound impact on the children and parents, particularly when children are sick, need to establish citizenship, require legal documents such as a passport and when it comes to tax status, inheritance and in the event of marital breakup. The changes will provide security and comfort that families currently do not have.

“We all agree that the best interests of children must be paramount in all matters relating to family law. Labour’s Bill aims to address the gap that currently exists in the law and provide equality for all families.”

Pádraig Rice from LGBT Ireland said:

“All children deserve to be treated equally. The gaps in the law must be closed to allow all children of same-sex couples to have a full legal relationship with both parents.

“The equality the people voted for in the Marriage Equality Referendum in 2015 won’t be fully realised until this issue is solved.”

Maeve Delargy on behalf of Equality for Children said:

“We are delighted to see Labour bringing forward this Bill on behalf of the existing and future children of same sex female couples in Ireland. These children have been left behind for far too long. We are grateful to Labour for taking up their cause and fighting for their right to equality.

“If passed this Bill would make a huge difference to the families we represent, 50% of whom are not covered by existing legislation. We’re calling on the Government to respond to the family law proposals put forward in this Bill as a matter of urgency.”

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