What happens next to the Children and Family Relationships Bill?

Taoiseach will present a copy of the Bill to the President to sign and declare it as law

The Seanad sat late on Monday night while the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015 passed report and final stages, meaning it has almost become law. Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald and Senators debated aspects of the proposed legislation for more than eight hours, concluding their discussions after 10.30pm

The Seanad sat late on Monday night while the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015 passed report and final stages, meaning it has almost become law. Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald and Senators debated aspects of the proposed legislation for more than eight hours, concluding their discussions after 10.30pm

 

The Seanad sat late on Monday night while the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015 passed report and final stages, meaning it has almost become law.

Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald and Senators debated aspects of the proposed legislation for more than eight hours, concluding their discussions after 10.30pm.

The next step is for Taoiseach Enda Kenny to present a copy of the Bill to President Michael D. Higgins to sign and declare it as law.

The signed law will then go to the Registrar of the Supreme Court where it is enrolled and kept on record.

Running to over 100 pages, the detailed Bill has over 170 sections.

It deals with topics as diverse as guardianship, donor-assisted human reproduction and custody and it amends existing legislation relating to civil partnership Act, adoption, passports and succession.

Among the Bill’s key provisions are:

*The extension of eligibility to adopt a child to civil partners and to cohabiting couples who have lived together for three years. Adoptive leave will be extended to one member of the civil partnered or same-sex cohabiting couple.

* A parent’s husband or civil partner, or a parent’s cohabiting partner will be able to apply for guardianship where he or she has co-parented the child for two years.

*A wider range of unmarried fathers will become guardians of their child, with the extension of automatic guardianship to unmarried fathers who have lived with the mother of their child for 12 months “and played an active role in parenting their child”.

*Children’s views can now be ascertained in court proceedings on guardianship, custody and access. The Bill defines, for the first time, factors that a court can take into account in defining a child’s best interests, such as “meaningful relationships, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being as well as issues such as family violence”.

*The establishment of a national donor-conceived child register means that hospitals and clinics which offer donor assisted human reproduction facilities will be obliged to seek “specified personal information” from the donor to allow for the tracing by their identity and to verify their consent to donate.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.