Full implementation of Child and Family Relationships Act postponed again

Sections of the 2015 Children and Families Relationship Act, allowing same-sex couples to both register as parents, will not come into effect as promised this summer.

The Department of Health told LGBT Ireland that the law would now not be commenced for another year. It has been postponed multiple times already.

Minister Simon Harris said the delay in bringing the law into effect is to prevent “unintended consequences” for couples currently undergoing fertility treatment.

The Department recently discovered that there are thousands of eggs and sperm in storage by people currently undergoing fertility treatment or those planning to undergo treatment in the future.

The eggs and sperm won’t be in compliance with the new laws and therefore couples won’t be able to use them once the laws change.

The Department says the delay in enacting the legislation will allow individuals and couples to decide what to do with the gametes that they’ve bought and stored for future use.

Even if those problems are addressed, other couples still would not be covered by the legislation.

One female couple who conceived their children using reciprocal IVF, meaning one woman provided the eggs while the other carried the pregnancy, told RTE that only female couples who’ve used an Irish fertility clinic, with an identifiable donor will be eligible under that new legislation.

“So, if you’ve gone abroad for fertility treatment, if you’ve done reciprocal IVF, which is what we did, if you’ve done an at-home insemination, or if you are a male couple, all of these people are going to be excluded from this bill”, said Ranae Von Meding.