Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (146)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

146. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the ongoing delay in commencing Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015; if his attention has been drawn to the impact and distress the delay in commencing the Part of the Act is having on affected families; the timescale to complete the relevant work to allow for commencement in view of the fact that numerous deadlines have been missed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51464/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provides for a number of amendments to the Civil Registration Act 2004, all of which have yet to be commenced.

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. These sections fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. I am advised that the Minister’s intention is to correct these technical errors by means of Committee Stage amendments to the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017.

In addition, these sections cannot be commenced until Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act are brought into operation by the Minister for Health. The Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Act 2018 was enacted on 24 July 2018. This Act 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 and 3 of the 2015 Act. There are important administrative and operational arrangements to be put in place to facilitate the implementation of Parts 2 and 3, including the establishment of the National Donor-Conceived Person Register and the appointment of authorised persons under the Act. It is the Minister for Health's intention that Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act will be commenced as soon as possible.

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 registration of donor-conceived children.

The commencement of the other sections of Part 9 of the 2015 Act (unrelated to birth registration of donor-conceived children) is dependent on provisions of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 being commenced by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. These sections may be commenced separately and do not affect the bringing into force of the provisions on birth registration of donor-conceived children.