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Family dynamics

05th May 2020

‘Not enough’: 60 percent of children not covered by new LGBT+ parents law

Jade Hayden

“We’re tired of sitting idly on an unfulfilled promise.”

60 percent of children are not covered by the new LGBT+ families legislation, a campaign group has said.

The final parts of the Child and Family Relationships Act 2015 were enacted yesterday, meaning that certain same-sex female couples will now be legally recognised as co-parents of their children.

The law allows both the birth mother and the partner of a child conceived through a Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR) procedure to register as parents and obtain a new birth certificate.

It does not, however, cover LGBT+ couples with two male parents, those who have used a known donor, reciprocal IVF, surrogacy, or at home inseminations.

The new law also does not cover couples who opted to have treatment outside of Ireland.

New campaign, Equality for Children, says that the parents left out of the law amount to 60 percent of the LGBT+ family community.

Started last year by Ranae von Meding, the campaign has garnered much support from the public and other members of the LGBT+ community.

And while campaigners agree that the enacted law is a “huge step in the right direction,” they are concerned about the number of couples the legislation does not cover.

Von Meding says the new laws “dictate a very particular LGBT+ family makeup.”

“They are finally coming to fruition today and for that we are grateful,” she says. “However, it is not enough.

“Around 40 percent of children will be covered by this bill. That leaves the other 60 percent with no legal connection to one of their parents. Five years after marriage equality, and that simply is not good enough.”

Equality for Children are asking the public to continue to support their campaign, to ensure that children from LGBT+ families are not left in uncertain circumstances in the event of bereavement or illness of their one legally recognised parent.

“We’re tired of sitting idly on an unfulfilled promise by the State which has spanned years, and we’re calling out for help in making our point,” says von Meding.

“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.

“We saw how YesEquality brought people together in 2015, because love wins. Now we’re calling on the people of Ireland to get behind us to make magic happen once more.”

You can find out more about the Equality for Children campaign here.