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New co-parenting legal recognition for lesbian couples 'not enough', says campaigners

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Divide: Senan Grange Furlong and older brother Caodhan, from Lusk, Co Dublin, at a protest outside the Department of Health on Dublin’s Baggot Street. Photo: Frank McGrath

Divide: Senan Grange Furlong and older brother Caodhan, from Lusk, Co Dublin, at a protest outside the Department of Health on Dublin’s Baggot Street. Photo: Frank McGrath

Divide: Senan Grange Furlong and older brother Caodhan, from Lusk, Co Dublin, at a protest outside the Department of Health on Dublin’s Baggot Street. Photo: Frank McGrath

Frameworks which clarify the legal parentage of donor conceived children under the Children and Family Relationships Act comes into law tomorrow.

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has confirmed Part 2 and 3 of the related regulations in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 will commence tomorrow.

These provisions will, for the first time, provide a legal framework for registering the births of children who are born as a result of assisted human reproduction involving donated eggs or sperm or embryos.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I know this has been a long road for many families, but I am so pleased we have reached this point.

“We have a lot more work to do in this area, I know but today is a significant milestone and an important day.

“I know it means the world to many parents across the country."

Campaign group Equality for Children said that the legislation leaves behind 60pc of children and that the bill is not enough.

“The protections promised in 2015 by the government under the Children and Family and Relationships Bill dictate a very particular LGBT+ family makeup.

“That leaves the other 60pc with no legal connection to one of their parents. Five years after marriage equality, and that simply is not good enough,” she said.

According to the group, the legislation leaves out children who have two male parents, a transgender parent, are born via surrogacy or reciprocal IVF, are born outside of Ireland or are conceived in an international clinic.

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The legislation also leaves out children who are conceived via at-home insemination or have to use a known donor.

“As it stands today, there are still many LGBT+ families in which only one parent can be a legal parent, which of course is perilous in the event of bereavement, illness and more,” she said.

“The reason why this campaign is so important is because many children of LGBT+ parents are still on the dangerous sidelines of grey legislation. We are #StillNotEqual, and our children ultimately suffer the most, unless something changes. True equality will not be achieved until it extends to all children in Ireland,” she added.


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