Two mothers, no father now allowed on birth certificates

Two mothers, no father now allowed on birth certificates

Birth certificates can now feature the names of two women but no father, The Irish Catholic can confirm.  Under a new law, one of the women would be the mother of the child, while the other would be deemed the second legal parent.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said that “in a case where two women are registered as parents, a father’s name will not appear on the birth certificate, because in this scenario, a man would not be registered as one of the parents”.

The father in such cases will almost always be a sperm donor and the child will have been conceived using IVF or artificial insemination.  The measure, which critics say falsifies birth certs deliberately, has been praised by Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty.

The Civil Registration Act 2019 lays down rules for registering live and still births on birth certificates.  An earlier 2004 act sets out that when a birth is being registered, the register must include, as well as details of the baby, details of the baby’s mother and father.

‘Intending parent’

The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provides a legislative framework for children born through Donor-Assisted Human Reproduction (DAHR), including the registration of their births. Under this act, the mother of a child is described as the woman who gives birth to her.

“No other woman can be registered as mother.” However, in place of a father, a birth certificate can have the name of an “intending parent” who undertakes “to care for, and exercise responsibilities towards, any child born as a result of the procedure, as if he or she were the parent of the child”.

The legislation gives a child the right, on reaching 18, to apply for information about his / her genetic heritage and to donors to have information released to the child through the National Donor-Conceived Person Register “to vindicate the rights of a donor-conceived child to access information on their genetic heritage”.

This register is, however, not yet in place. The Health ministry said officials were working towards putting measures in place including the register to implement the UN Convention Rights of the Child “to an identity”.