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Bill will allow same-sex female couples to put both names on child’s birth cert

Minister says preparation of the Civil Registration Bill 2019 has been approved

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said the Bill would resolve a number of difficulties in the registration of donor-assisted births. Photograph: Donall Farmer/ The Irish Times

Same-sex female couples will be able to register both their names on a child’s birth certificate to affirm their parental rights under a new Bill being introduced by the Government.

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said the preparation of the Civil Registration Bill 2019 had been approved and it would resolve a number of difficulties in the registration of donor-assisted births.

At present, birth certificates issued in respect of donor-assisted children born to same-sex couples allow only for the recording of the mother’s details.

In addition to the current labels of “Mother” and “Father” on birth certificates, parents of non-donor assisted children may also avail of the label “Parent” should they so request it.

The changes will allow for the registration and re-registration of births of children of same-sex female couples, and this will affirm their parental rights.

Ms Doherty said while the changes proposed would affect a relatively small number of people, “they touch on matters that are very sensitive and of great importance to those families affected”.

“I have met and spoken to many affected by this issue and I am now very pleased to be able to bring these changes forward as a priority to ensure that they can be introduced as soon as possible,” she said.

It is expected the Bill will be published and brought before the houses of the Oireachtas this spring.