Sunday 19 November 2017

At last, a Bill that can embrace all of our children - and their family types

Picture posed
Picture posed

Tanya Ward

Children shouldn't be punished because of the circumstances of their birth or the marital status of their parents.

 All children should be valued. This is why the Children and Family Relationships Bill is so urgently needed. The Bill will finally protect the rights of children in family law. However, you'd be forgiven if you didn't pick up on this because of the way the Bill has been used as a political football.

Overall, the Bill provides legal clarity on parentage, guardianship, custody and access for all families in Ireland and is to be applauded. The failure to recognise the diversity of family life in Ireland has seriously impacted on the lives of children. Children are increasingly being cared for by unmarried parents, step-parents, civil partners and others acting in loco parentis, such as grandparents.

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