Status of Children Bill, 1986: Order for Second Stage.

Bill entitled an Act to amend the law relating to the status of children and for that purpose to amend the law relating to legitimacy and to guardianship of infants, to amend and extend the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act, 1976, in relation to certain children and to amend further the law relating to maintenance, to amend the law relating to succession and other property rights, to provide for declarations of parentage and for the use of blood tests to assist in the determination of parentage, to amend the law relating to certain presumptions and evidence, to make further provision for the registration and re-registration of births and to provide for connected matters.

I move: "That the Second Stage be taken on Wednesday, 28 May 1986." Again I think we should make the formal order for Second Stage.

Arising out of what the Leader of the House said on the Order of Business about the importance of having a full debate on Second Stage of this Bill, I agree that it is a very important measure. I would hope that the Seanad could complete examination of this Bill before the summer. There has already been a considerable delay in the publication of the Bill and its introduction to this House. It would be desirable that the Seanad would complete the examination of the Bill and send it to the Dáil before the summer.

I share Senator Robinson's anxiety in regard to this and share her relief in that the Bill has at last appeared. I would like to say that when I talked of taking the Second Stage before the Summer Recess and perhaps taking Committee Stage in September, I was not talking of this in any sense of delay in its discussion by the Dáil. In fact, if it would appear that by leaving it over the Summer Recess we would be delaying discussions I would not be in favour of that. There would be little chance of the Dáil taking up the matter before late October which would give us the opportunity for following the course that I suggest.

Question put and agreed.