Irish Children and Family Bill Will Recognise Same-sex Parents

The Heads of a Children and Family Relationships Bill was published yesterday, and aims to recognise the diversity of family life in Ireland.

 

Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD, published the general scheme for a Children and Family Relationships Bill yesterday. The bill will create a legal structure to underpin the different parenting situations of families living in Ireland.

“We welcome the publication of the General Scheme of the Bill. The commitment of the Government and of Minister Shatter to update parenting legislation to recognise the different family forms in Ireland is of critical importance to a wide range of families, including lesbian and gay families” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.

“The Bill aims to ensure that children within all family forms enjoy the same duties of care from those parenting them and can form a legal relationship with those parents” said Rose.

The Children’s Rights Alliance said yesterday, that the proposals put “children at the heart of family law reform and introduces a clear legal framework to respond to the everyday realities of family life.”

GLEN’s Kieran Rose added, “We particularly welcome that the key principle of the best interests of the child will underpin all the proposed reforms. Extending the range of people who can take on the duties and responsibilities of care to a child through guardianship can ensure that the best interests of a child are fulfilled”.

Welcoming the Bill, John Lyons TD, Co-Chair of Labour LGBT said,  “I am pleased that the Bill will allow civil partners to jointly adopt a child for the first time and provide much-needed legal clarity for LGBT families and their children.

“This legal certainty is particularly important in advance of the referendum on same-sex marriage due to take place in 2015. Events of recent days illustrate more than ever the need for a responsible debate based on the facts of Irish family life and the laws in relation to them.”

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