My Department is working on provisions which will give all adopting couples, whether same sex or opposite sex, the right to select which of them will be the qualified adopter i.e. which will get adoptive leave and benefit. It is my intention to present legislative proposals in this regard to Government in the coming weeks.
It is proposed to include these provisions in a forthcoming Bill, ideally the Social Welfare (No. 2) Bill which will be before the House in November and the purpose of which is to give effect to measures in the Budget. It was not possible to develop the provisions in time for the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill, the enactment of which was urgent in view of the commitment to introduce leave and benefit with effect from 1 November.