Thursday 14 November 2019

Gay parents to get both names on child's birth cert

Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Aoife Moore/PA
Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Aoife Moore/PA
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Same-sex parents will be able to legally register both their names on their child's birth certificate from next May under new regulations to be signed by Health Minister Simon Harris today.

It follows the Equality for Children campaign which highlighted the limbo that gay couples face in the legal parenting of their children.

Currently, in most cases only one parent in a same-sex relationship can be a legal parent, which campaigners have described as "perilous" in the event of bereavement and illness.

The minister confirmed he would today sign regulations to commence Sections 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act.

Mr Harris will meet a number of the families involved and sign the regulations in their presence. This will allow same-sex parents to register both their names on their child's birth cert from May 5, 2020.

Mr Harris has also agreed to examine other areas of law reform required to support all LGBT families.

He said he would be "committing to work with them on these issues in coming weeks and months".

"When I met with LGBT families a number of weeks ago, they pointed out the impractical realities of our current laws," he said.

"While we know some of their issues will be addressed through the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill, there are areas that require some consideration.

"I have some proposals as to how to look at these matters but I want to discuss these with the families first and hope to make some progress on this next week."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News