Thursday, 6 December 2018

Ceisteanna (272)

Róisín Shortall


272. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the ongoing delay in fully commencing the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015; if her attention has been drawn to the impact and distress the long delay in commencing the delayed parts 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 she will make a statement on the matter. [51462/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

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. I am aware of the impact that this is having on affected families, and of the pressing need to proceed with commencement as quickly as possible. My intention is to correct these technical errors by means of Committee Stage amendments to the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017, which I hope to see taken early in the new year.

Commencement of these provisions is also dependent on commencement of Parts 2 & 3 of the Act, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Health. In this regard, the Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018 was enacted on 24 July 2018. It 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. I know that it is Minister for Health's intention that Parts 2 & 3 of the Act will be commenced as soon as possible.

In order to progress this, officials from the General Register Office, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, 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.