Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (185)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

185. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the reason for the ongoing delay in fully commencing the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015; if his attention has been drawn to the impact and distress the long delay in commencing the delayed parts of this 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. [51463/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The commencement of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 requires the completion of a number of interrelated tasks in order to ensure the new legislative framework is coherent at all stages for individuals. I am responsible for the commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, which contain provisions relating to the regulation of donor-assisted human reproduction (DAHR) procedures carried out in the State, including dealing with the rights of children born as a result of those procedures. Certain sections in Part 9 of the Act provide for the registration and re-registration of the birth of a donor-conceived child. The commencement of Part 9 is the responsibility of the Minister for Justice and Equality, following consultation with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

The Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 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 & 3 of the Act. There are important administrative and operational arrangements to be put in place to facilitate the implementation of Parts 2 & 3, including the establishment of the National Donor-Conceived Person Register and the appointment of authorised persons under the Act. It is my intention that Parts 2 & 3 of the Act will be commenced as soon as possible.

Officials from the General Register Office, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Health 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.