Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (427)

Seán Haughey

Question:

427. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when sections 95 and 99 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 will be commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14082/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

On 12 February 2019, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection received Government approval to publish the Civil Registration Bill 2019. The Civil Registration Bill 2019 makes technical amendments to sections in Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 that provide for registration, and re-registration, of births of donor-conceived children. This legislation is being progressed through the Oireachtas as a matter of priority. Committee Stage was taken in Dáil Éireann on 28 February 2019 and Report/Final Stage is scheduled for 27 March 2019. It is the only non-Brexit Bill to be introduced by the Government in the current legislative session.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, who has policy responsibility in this area, has stated her intention that Part 9 will be commenced immediately following enactment of the Bill. I will work with my colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, to ensure that commencement is brought about as soon as possible following enactment of the Bill.

The operation of these sections in Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 is dependent on commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act, which includes provisions for determination of parentage on which registrations, and re-registrations, will be based. This is the responsibility of the Minister for Health, who is working to ensure that commencement of these provisions is brought about as soon as possible.

These are complex issues that require the involvement of more than just one Department. Officials from my Department, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Department of Health and the General Register Office 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.