Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (515)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

515. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the delay in the commencement of Part 9 of the Children and Families Relationship Act 2015; the steps she has taken to date to address the issue; when this section of the Act will be commenced; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51524/18]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Certain sections in Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provide for the registration and re-registration of the birth of a donor-conceived child. The current position is that these sections need to be amended, to correct technical errors, and have yet to be commenced. My intention is to correct these technical errors by means of Committee Stage amendments to the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017, which I hope to see taken early in the new year.

Commencement of these provisions is also dependent on commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the Act, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Health. In this regard, the Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018 was enacted on 24 July 2018. It was introduced to correct typographical and technical errors in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, which will facilitate the subsequent commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the Act. There are important administrative and operational arrangements to be put in place to facilitate the implementation of Parts 2 & 3, including the establishment of the National Donor-Conceived Person Register and the appointment of authorised persons under the Act. I know that it is Minister for Health's intention that Parts 2 & 3 of the Act will be commenced as soon as possible.   

In order to progress this, officials from the General Register Office, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and the Department of Health are working together to ensure that the appropriate legislative, regulatory, and operational, mechanisms are in place to allow for the earliest possible commencement of all of the relevant legislation that will allow for birth registrations of donor-conceived children.