On the 4th May 2020, the long anticipated final parts of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 have been commenced which will allow for certain same-sex female couples to be legally recognised as co-parents of their children.
The significance of this is to now allow the birth mother and the intending parent (the mother’s spouse, civil partner or cohabitant) of a donor-conceived child, born as a result of a Donor Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR) procedure to register with the Registrar for the Births, Deaths and Marriages, as parents. This registration will reflect the couple as parents on their child’s birth certificate.
There are different procedures depending on whether the child was conceived after the 4th May 2020 or prior to 4th May 2020. The procedure for retrospective registration is more burdensome than registration for a child conceived after 4th May 2020.
Upon ascertaining eligibility, in order to re-register the birth, the couple (when made on consent) must apply to the District Court for a Declaration of Parentage and if the application is contested this application must be made in the Circuit Court. The child in certain circumstances, can also become a party to the proceedings to ascertain their wishes.
For a child conceived after the 4th May 2020, qualifying parents are not required to attend Court to seek a Declaration of Parentage and the process is more straightforward. When a procedure results in a viable pregnancy, the parents should notify the DAHR facility who in turn will supply a certificate to the parent(s) and then the parents supply this certificate with their application to register the birth of their child.
This is a historic step towards LGBTI equality as many children with same sex female parents will be able vindicate their right to have their family recognised.
Please contact us if you require any assistance regarding your eligibility to register and advice regarding the application process and all documentation required to do so.