Lesbian couples in Ireland want equal parenting rights

Same-sex parents say they are facing legal issues and discrimination by the government because they are unable to be named on their child's birth certificate.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Lesbian couples in Ireland want equal parenting rights - NewsMavens
Baby, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

In Ireland, same-sex couples can marry, adopt and foster children. But female same-sex couples can't both be parents to their children.

Lesbian parents are pushing back against government delays in instituting part of a new law that was introduced when same-sex marriage was made legal in 2015.

Non-biological mothers say they are being discriminated against by not being allowed equal rights to their children.

An anomaly in the law means that a female LGBT parent is not on their child's birth certificate or passport unless they are the birth mother. They can register only as guardians when the child is two years of age.

Details from the story:

  • Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage with a public vote in 2015.
  • The Child and Family Relationships Act 2015, which simplifies adoption and parenting rights for "non-traditional" and same-sex couples, was introduced at the same time.
  • However, the part of the legislation that allows non-biological parents to be recognised as legal parents of their children has not been enacted yet.
  • The part of the bill that allows non-biological parents to be recognised as legal parents of children born through IVF or donor-assisted reproduction have also not been initiated. This affects same-sex as well as heterosexual couples.
  • Irish Health Minister Simon Harris said he would rectify the bill by October. However the change is yet to be instated.
  • Not being named as a child's parent, despite being an active guardian and mother, can result in visa problems, custody troubles and burdensome legal issues.
  • Because of this, same-sex couples say they are being discriminated against and unable to parent their children properly.
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