Same-sex partners to be allowed register names on baby’s birth certificate

Harris to address naming anomaly preventing same sex-couples register as legal parent

Photograph: Eric Luke

Photograph: Eric Luke

 

The Government will on Tuesday agree to introduce legislation to allow same-sex couples register both their names on their baby’s birth certificate.

As indicated by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the weekend, Minister for Health Simon Harris will seek approval to draft a Bill to address an anomaly which currently exists in law.

The Bill will allow for the retrospective registration of same-sex couples on a child’s birth certificate and passport.

The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 was designed to provide same-sex couples with parental rights.

Parts 2 and 3 allow for parentage through donor-assisted human reproduction. However, these clauses have not been enacted and have resulted in some rights exclusively being afforded to the birth mother.

I assure all members that the Government shares their sense of urgency and wants to resolve the matter

In effect, they have resulted in an inability to have same-sex couples registered as the legal parent.

Mr Harris will seek approval to address this issue and have it passed by the summer recess.

Speaking last week, the Minister said: “I assure all members that the Government shares their sense of urgency and wants to resolve the matter. The Deputies are entirely correct.

“I intend to go to Cabinet very shortly with a view to bringing about a legislative solution that I hope we can work with on a cross-party basis to try to pass it by the summer recess.”

The move to be agreed by Cabinet comes after the State issued an apology to men criminalised for being gay and at the commencement of Pride week.

Former president Mary McAleese will participate in this weekend’s parade alongside her son, Fianna Fáil representative Justin McAleese. Minister for Children Katherine Zappone will also accompany Ms McAleese under the BeLongTo banner.

Pay gap

Meanwhile, the Government will also consider legislation to oblige companies to detail the difference in pay for male and female employees.

The proposals would require firms in both the public and private sectors to detail any discrepancies in hourly pay, bonuses and the pay of part-time workers in an annual report.

Those that do not comply with the legislation will be sanctioned and could potentially be subject to significant fines or Circuit Court compliance orders.

The legislation will also include provision for personnel from the Workplace Relations Commission to conduct on-site inspections to ensure compliance or gather information.

Recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show women are paid 14 per cent less than men.

The figures from 2014 are based on gross hourly earnings, and compare with a 12 per cent difference between men and women’s pay in 2012.