Sinn Féin spokesperson for LGBTQI Rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has criticised Minister for Health Simon Harris TD for failing to commence key equal status legislation granting equal parental rights to families who conceive through assisted human reproduction, three years on from its passage through the Oireachtas.

Senator Warfield said:

“Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 give equal parental rights to families who conceive through assisted human reproduction.

“Three years on from the passing of civil marriage equality, it is unacceptable that these aspects of the legislation have yet to be commenced by Government. In many cases, Government are leaving only one parent with legal rights.

“Same sex families are therefore vulnerable, as the parent without legal rights cannot give medical consent, nor are they recognised as a parent on the birth certificate of their child.

“They cannot give citizenship rights to their child, along with an array of other potential issues.

“Numerous times, and over many years, the Department of Health have failed to meet their own deadlines in commencing this legislation. Their excuse that it is ‘a small number of technical issues’ is unreasonable, given that families are being left in a legal limbo.

“I have joined with Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly TD in writing to Minister Harris, calling on him to meet with the families affected, in order to explain this unacceptable delay.”