Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (443, 444)

Catherine Martin

Question:

443. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health when the national donor conceived person register will be established with regard to the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21974/19]

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Catherine Martin

Question:

444. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health when the appropriate legislative, regulatory and operational mechanisms are expected to be implemented in order to allow the commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015. [21975/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 443 and 444 together.

Officials in my Department are working towards putting in place a number of important administrative and operational arrangements that are essential for the implementation of Parts 2 & 3. This includes the establishment of the National Donor-Conceived Person Register (the “Register”), the purpose of which is to vindicate the rights of a donor-conceived child to access information on their genetic heritage. This is based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child concerning the right of a child to an identity and internationally regarded as best practice. However, as the Register will contain personal and potentially sensitive information about the various parties to a DAHR procedure, and particularly about the children born as a result of the procedures, robust data protection measures must be put in place prior to the establishment of the Register. 

The commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the Act also requires consent forms relating to the parties to a DAHR procedure (donors and intending parents) to be prescribed by regulations. The Department of Health is liaising with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel in relation to the drafting of those regulations.

As you will no doubt be aware a technical amendment was required to section 27 (5) of the Act in order to ensure that a certificate can be issued in the context of all donor assisted human reproduction procedures performed under Part 2 of the Act. This amendment was included in the Civil Registration Bill 2019, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. This Bill passed Report Stage in the Seanad this week.

It is my intention to commence Parts 2 & 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 before the summer recess.