I have been in regular contact with families waiting for certain provisions of the Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Act 2018 to take effect. The legislation was enacted in July and families are waiting anxiously due to the dilemma they face regarding the registration of their children at birth. They have been waiting now for six months. I have put down questions on the matter regularly only to receive a standard reply from the Minister for Health to the effect that it is going through a process having regard to Parts 2, 3 and 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015. The Minister says he intends to have Parts 2 and 3 of the Act commenced as soon as possible. We are waiting for issues relating to Part 9 to be sorted out also. Just last week, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection said the provisions will not be implemented now until some time in 2019. A lot of people are very frustrated by this as they feel it is being put on the long finger and that there is no real will or urgency to bring the legislation over the line. I have received an email from LGBT Ireland to say its representatives had met with a senior civil servant from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to discuss the outstanding matter of Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 and that the outcome of the said meeting had been disappointing and unexpected with officials advising there were technical errors in the provisions as drafted. It is now proposed to correct these errors by way of amendments on Committee Stage of the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017. This lengthy process will push the commencement date into 2019.
I have been a Member of the Dáil for seven years and I have seen how there is no problem for the Government when it wants to bring in Bills dealing with technical issues. Given that the errors referred to here are technical, there should be no problem introducing without debate amendments to deal with them by agreement with all parties. That is what I want to hear this evening. Why is there no urgency about this? I ask the Minister of State to explain how technical these issues are and how difficult it will be to bring forward amendments on Committee Stage of the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017. Many people are interested to know what the status of the legislation is and how quickly the Government wants to proceed with it.