Call for ‘radical’ amendment to proposed Child Bill

Opposition from newly-established Mothers and Fathers Matter organisation

 Prof Ray Kinsella (centre) at a  photocall organised by the group Mothers and Fathers Matter outside Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Prof Ray Kinsella (centre) at a photocall organised by the group Mothers and Fathers Matter outside Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

A call for the Children and Family Relationships Bill to be “radically amended” has come from economist Prof Ray Kinsella of the new Mothers and Fathers Matter organisation.

Prof Kinsella argued that the Bill would “promote” arrangements under which children would be “intentionally denied” either a mother or a father.

“This perspective is based on adults’ wishes and not on the best interests of the child, including its fundamental relationship with its genetic parents,” he said.

Prof Kinsella said he feared TDs would be whipped to support the Bill even if they did not agree with it.

“I love my kids but I could not do my wife’s job. I could not be a mother. I could not give my children what their mother gives them,” he said.

“I believe that there are a lot of TDs who would look at their own family experience and common sense but they will be guillotined for expressing that view in the Dáil. hatever view you take politicians should be grown-up.”

The group has been established to oppose the proposed legislation has a website mothersandfathersmatter.org with a “donate” button and a means of sending sending electronic postcards to local politicians.

David Quinn of the Iona Institute is among the members of the group’s advisory committee.

The group argues that the Bill “in effect commodifies children” and undermines the status of marriage in the Constitution.

“Common sense, as well as our Constitution, acknowledges the place of mothers and fathers in conceiving, nurturing and raising children,” Prof Kinsella said. We should not be legislating to subvert this most basic entitlement of a child.”