Same sex couples who have conceived using donor insemination will be able to register as that child’s parents under a new law.
A standalone piece of legislation will allow the Minister for Health Simon Harris to commence two key parts of the Children and Family Relationships Act (CFR) this autumn, providing for children born as a result of donor-assisted human reproduction.
The Section 20 amendment bill will allow same-sex couples to seek a retrospective declaration of parentage through the courts, by addressing technical issues identified in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.
The act will apply to cases where a same sex couple have conceived a child using donor material. Under the new legislation the same-sex couple can apply through the courts to have both of them named on the child’s birth certificate as ‘parents’.
The CFR act does not encompass surrogacy and relates to situations where the intending mother is also the birth mother.
That CFR act enacts “legal architecture to underpin diverse parenting situations and provide clarity on parental rights and responsibilities”, according to the Department of Health website.
Parts 2 and 3 of the act concern donor-assisted human reproduction procedures and the rights of donor-conceived people to access information about their genetic heritage.
This includes mandating for non-anonymous donation and provision for the establishment of a national Donor-Conceived Person Register.
The registration of births remains the responsibility of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, a department spokesman said.