Ireland set to allow lesbian parents to be on birth certificates

Ireland has allowed lesbian parents to both be registered on birth certificates, as represented by these two women with a baby

The Republic of Ireland is set to allow all lesbian parents to be on their children’s birth certificates.

The country’s government has approved a bill which will enable both mothers—rather than just the person who gave birth to the child—to be registered as a parent on official documentation, The Irish Examiner has reported.

The Civil Registration Bill 2019 will allow all lesbian couples who have had donor-assisted babies to register or re-register as their children’s parents, provided it passes through parliament.

Others parents will also be able to choose to be a “parent” on birth certificates, rather than “father” or “mother,” if they so choose.

PinkNews has requested a comment from the Department of Social Protection to clarify whether gay parents will also be able to both be registered as parents on their children’s birth certificates.

For Ireland, changing lesbian parents’ statuses is a priority

The Department of Social Protection said that changing the law would “resolve a number of difficulties in the registration of donor-assisted births and will be brought forward as a priority.”

The statement explained: “This bill will extend the required particulars for registration of a birth to include ‘parent’ on a birth certificate.

“At present, birth certificates issued in respect of donor-assisted children born to same-sex couples only allow for the recording of the mother’s details.

“I am now very pleased to be able to bring these changes forward as a priority to ensure that they can be introduced as soon as possible”

— Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty

“These changes will facilitate the registration and re-registration of births of children of same-sex female couples, and this will affirm their parental rights,” it added.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty emphasised the importance of passing the bill, which is expected to be brought before parliament in early spring.

She said: “While the changes proposed will affect a relatively small number of people, they touch on matters that are very sensitive and of great importance to those families affected.

A woman holding a small child

Ireland currently only allows fathers and the person who gave birth to the child to be listed as parents (Pexels)

“I have met with and spoken to many affected by this issue and I am now very pleased to be able to bring these changes forward as a priority to ensure that they can be introduced as soon as possible.”

Ireland improving lesbian rights is the latest example of its LGBT+ progress

Ireland has made huge steps in a number of areas associated with LGBT+ rights.

Ireland passed the Gender Recognition Act in 2015, allowing trans people to change their legal gender based on a system of self-declaration, without the need for medical documentation.

Gender recognition is also available to teenagers from age 16, but only if they secure a court order.

This puts Ireland ahead of many other countries, but a report last year commissioned by Doherty recommended going further, towards “a system of gender recognition for children of any age.”

The report also recommended that “legal gender recognition should be made available to people who are nonbinary” and that the process should also “provide access for intersex individuals.”